This is my second puff pastry tart in as many weeks, so I’m going to let you in to a secret. Puff pastry tarts are super-easy and always look fairly impressive. Well, I think so.
It’s just a case of coming up with a few ingredients which go together, pictured I’ve got asparagus, sundried tomatoes, pesto and goats cheese. Stick them on some pastry and bob’s your uncle. Dinner or lunch in 5 minutes, plus 15 minutes in the oven.
You can put anything on a tart, they’re very easy going; chutney, tomato and cheese is a good combo, feta, olives and parma ham is another, or spring onions, cheddar and ham for a more English take on the subject. A good melting cheese, mozarella, cheddar or roquefort always works well. There are lots of recipe ideas on the Jus-Rol website.
What I thought I’d do in this post, rather than give a proper recipe, is give the basic premise, and then you can make this with whatever you have in the fridge rather than relying on a recipe.
Open or closed tart? Puff pastry works really well flat on the base of a baking tray (an open tart, pictured above). It also works well as a roll or a pastie. It works less well in a pie dish, although apparently (according to Jus-Rol) you can do it. If you want to bake a tart in a pie dish, use a shallow one, or a flan tin. However, whenever I’ve done this I’ve ended up with a really soggy, slightly uncooked base, despite the edges being done, so personally I’d always do an open tart.
When cooking on a baking tray, lightly flour the tray, place pastry on top, cover in ingredients and then make a criss-cross pattern on the border with a knife. Brush borders with a beaten egg for a glaze (although I’m very lazy and never do this).
Cooking times – You need more time when baking a tart in a pie dish as the heat takes time to penetrate the sides of the dish before cooking the pastry. Tarts in dishes will need 20 – 25 minutes whereas a large open tart on a baking tray will take 15 – 18 minutes. Bake the pastry until golden brown. Puff pastry tarts should be baked at 220 degrees ( 200 for fan assisted ovens) Gas M 7.
Fillings – Puff pastry isn’t good for “wet” fillings or egg custard/quiche-style tarts. They soak into the pastry making it soggy before it’s cooked, and if you are making an open tart on a baking tray the filling will run out. Always make sure the contents are sufficiently cooked within the 15-18 minutes it takes to cook the pastry or cook them in advance, as I do in my leek tart or Lucy does in her Anything Goes Bacon and OnionTart. And don’t put ingredients on the pastry dry, give them a shimmer of olive oil and seasoning or a bit of pesto, something to stop them drying out in the oven.
Lucy says: “I love how you’ve managed to turn your nickname at school in to a culinary delight. Good work.”
Claire says: “You are truly hilarious.”