Super-easy tarts

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.

To roll or not to roll? I’ve bought both ready-rolled and unrolled and in my experience by the time you’ve made sufficient space on your kitchen surface, floured it, found the rolling pin, floured that, rolled out the pastry and then tidied the entire lot up, you may as well have started from scratch, well, nearly. Much easier to open a packet of ready-rolled, and lay it on top of a lightly floured baking tray.
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.
Claire
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.”

 

5 Comments

  1. Oh you two are cards, aren’t you? This is a good reminder to buy some puff p (I’d love to pretend I’d make some, but would be a terrible lie).

    Reply
  2. Oh, good idea. Hmm. I wonder if I could use prawns on puff pastry. Maybe with spinach? Will try it out today.

    Reply
  3. Do report back! I imagine it will be delicious -as long as prawns are fully defrosted and don’t make pastry soggy.

    Reply

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