Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hay Hay its Donna Day #15

When I announced that I was going to make a tart today, my husband, who is notorious for having selective deafness, pricked his ears up immediately. He thought I said "I'm going to be a tart today". When I explained that I was making a tart for Hay Hay it's Donna Day, an event founded by Barbara at WinosandFoodies, he seemed quite disgruntled and went back to reading the paper with a profound look of disappointment on his face.

Trinigourmet, the winner of the last challenge with her faboulous knock your socks off gnocchi, has chosen sweet or savoury tarts as the theme for this month.

Tarts scare me however. I have yet to make a decent pastry without it crumbling before my eyes. Therefore I steer away from home-made pastry recipes. That is, up until now.

I FINALLY MADE A DECENT PASTRY AT LAST. I love these challenge events. It allows me to (a) go and buy a new longed for gadget, (b) try to learn new methods and techniques and (c) persist until I get things right or (d) completely abandon, abort, give up.

Option (d) was my initial thought with this challenge, however option (c) kept jumping into my head. And I've heard people swear, that any idiot can make pastry in a food processor. As I already have a food processor, option (a) sadly never got a look in. So with option (b) and (c) as the plan, with fingers crossed, a Chervil and Egg Custard Tart with Tomato and Capsicum Salsa was hopefully about to be born.


The pastry was a cinch. All these years I've been avoiding it, and suddenly one time, everything turns out as it's supposed to.

Ingredients (serves 6)
• 1/4 cup roughly chopped chervil sprigs (you could use parsley if chervil is unavailable)
• 3 eggs
• 1 egg yolk
• 3/4 cup (185ml) pure (thin) cream
• Pastry
• 1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
• 125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
• 1 egg
• Tomato & capsicum salsa
• 1 small red capsicum, finely chopped (I used bought chargrilled capsicum)
• 1/4 cup semi-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
• 1 tbs olive oil
• 2 tsp red wine vinegar
• 2 tbs salted capers, rinsed, drained
1. For the pastry, process flour and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg, 1 tablespoon chilled water and 1/2 tsp sea salt and process until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Press pastry into a disc, enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured surface until 2-3mm thick, then use to line a 12cm x 35cm rectangular loose-bottomed tart pan. Prick base with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove paper and weights or rice and bake for a further 5-8 minutes until the base is dry and pastry is golden.
3. Reduce oven to 170°C. Scatter chervil over tart base. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and extra yolk, then stir in the cream and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over chervil and bake for 20-25 minutes until custard is just set. Cool to room temperature in the pan.
4. Meanwhile, for the salsa, toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Top the tart with salsa, then slice and serve.

And just to prove that it wasn't a fluke, I made this one from Donna Hay's cookbook, Modern Classics Book 2. I'm unstoppable now. Thanks Trini for allowing me to find my inner tart!


jeena said...

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Jeena xx

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Pam said...

Thank you Jeena. I love your blog. At last I have "pictures" for making a sponge cake step by step. My first and last attempt at a sponge, ended up as a frisbee, thrown out the back door. Even the dog wouldn't eat it. I'll definitely give yours a try.

TriniGourmet said...

Thanks so much for taking part in this month's round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day :) The roundup should be posted later today or tomorrow :D Stay Tuned!

Barbara said...

That's a beautiful tart Pam. Thanks for joining HHDD.

maybahay said...

he he- funny read. it was my first time ever, too, making pastry from scratch. wasn't it such a rewarding experience? thanks HHDD! your tart looked great, i am sure it tasted great. will make this for weekend brunch.

Valli said...

I have enjoyed browsing through your blog ans recipes so far. Everything looks delcious!!! I must give this one a try for sure.

Laurie Constantino said...

I love chervil and never have enough of it. This tart looks extremely good -- great photographs -- and I absolutely believe you it was delicious. Wish I'da been around for the leftovers...