FOR THE PASTRY:
- 125g plain flour
- 100g wholewheat flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 60ml cold water
FOR THE FILLING:
- 5 eggs
- 140ml cream
- 100ml milk
- 40g finely grated gruyere/cheddar/parmesan, plus extra for the top
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or tarragon or parsley
- ½ tsp. salt, pepper to taste
CUSTOMISABLE EXTRAS (pick 2-3)
- 150g goat cheese OR ricotta cheese OR firm labneh
- 200g baby spinach/other similar greens, blanched, drained well & finely chopped
- 150g cherry tomatoes or chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- caramelised onions or leeks
- cooked vegetables like; roast pumpkin/zucchini/carrots, sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli
- cooked shredded chicken or cold cured meats like smoked turkey/salami
- fresh zucchini flowers
- MAKE THE PASTRY: Place the flours & salt in a food processor and process till evenly mixed. Add the cold butter (I like to keep mine in the freezer after cutting it, until right before I need to use it) until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the cold water and process for a few short seconds, just until the dough begins to form around the blade. Tip the dough out onto some plastic wrap, flatten into a round disk and wrap it tightly, then refrigerate it for 30 minutes. At this point, you could store it in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months; just defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
- Have a 25-28cm tart tin ready nearby. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench; you may need to bang it a few times with your rolling pin if it is a bit too hard. Roll the dough out into a roughly round shape until it is about 3mm thick (you want it about 5 cm larger than your tart tin), sprinkling with flour as needed. Try to work quickly to avoid the pastry getting too soft, especially if the weather is warm. Transfer the pastry using your rolling pin to the tart tin, and gently tuck it into the tin so that it sits comfortably into the corners and covers the entire base. Don’t worry if it tears; you can use scraps of dough to patch it up. Cover the whole tart tin with plastic wrap & refrigerate (or preferably freeze if you have space in your freezer) for 15-20 minutes.
- BLIND-BAKE THE PASTRY: Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390F). Take out your tart tin from the fridge/freezer and trim the edges with a knife (or use your rolling pin!). Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with baking weights. You could use any dried beans or legumes or grains as baking weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking weights and baking paper, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until pastry is light golden, Set aside to cool (once cooled completely, use right away or wrap with plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days). Reduce oven to 175 C.
- MAKE THE FILLING & ASSEMBLE THE TART: In a bowl or large jug, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, grated cheese, salt & pepper very well until smooth and uniform. Set aside.
- Arrange the extra fillings evenly on the pastry base; you could pick any combination you like. Pour the egg mixture over the fillings & sprinkle the surface with a little extra grated cheese, then bake the tart in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden & set, but slightly jiggly in the centre. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, but the tart is best served at room temperature.
Recipe from Matters of the belly