A lovely bunch of the above arrived in the vege box, that and memories of Jo's amazing asparagus and Gruyere tart at Christmas supper club and a new tart tin to try out led to this concoction. The asparagus and Gruyere tart was all completely polished off....despite the veritable feast there was not one little morsel left over. The Gruyere is baked in to the pastry and make it rich and crumbly, topped with a thin layer of asparagus and red pepper and just enough Mascarpone and egg to cover the base it was sublime. Crumbly cheese pastry, bright fresh asparagus and a little creamy decadence provided by the Mascarpone filling.
Well asparagus season is sadly over, heck Summer officially ends next week, but here is my kale and Gruyere tart. This was also, believe it or not my first foray in to pastry making. I seem to have had some sort of phobia or mental block toward pastry making in the past, for some reason it seemed quite difficult and something only for the expert bakers. Given the overwhelming success of this first attempt I think we are ready to move forward for some pastry making adventures.
Kale and Gruyere Tart
For the pastry
200g white spelt flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
100g chilled butter, diced
50g Gruyere cheese
1 tbsp cold water
For the filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated plus a little extra for topping
For the pastry
Place the flour, salt, butter and Gruyere in to a food processor. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add 1 egg and the water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Tip the dough out on to a floured surface and knead gently just until you have a smooth dough. Roll in to a ball, cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes until the dough is firm.
Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F
Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured surface or even easier and less mess to clean up, roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper. Roll out until quite thin, just half a centimeter and place it snugly in a greased 30 cm tart tin or equivalent. Pop in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up. Remove from the fridge and pierce the dough with a fork. Blind bake* for 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
*Blind bake: Blind baking is baking a pastry base partially before adding the ingredients. This firms up the pastry base so that it is a little crustier and stronger and can hold moist ingredients without going soggy during the cooking. It is also useful when the filling needs very little cooking and would be ruined sitting around waiting for the pastry to coo the pastry with baking parchment and top Place dried beans, dry rice, dry lentils or pie weights over the surface of the covering. This prevents the pastry base from rising through air bubbles, which would leave it uneven and weakened.
For the filling
While the pastry case is cooking make the filling. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium frying pan over a media heat and add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with a little sea salt to bring out their natural sweetness. Saute for a few moments until translucent and then add the kale, red pepper and cayenne. Saute for a a few minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium sized bowl beat the eggs and cream together. Season with salt and pepper and add the Parmesan cheese, leaving a little to sprinkle over the top. Add the cooled kale and pepper mixture to the eggs and gently mix everything together until well combined. Pour the mixture in to the pastry case, sprinkle with a little Parmesan and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the filling is just cooked through, but soft and creamy on the inside.
Remove from the oven and let the tart cool a little and if you are a cheese lover feel free to sprinkle with yet more Parmesan. The tart can be served warm or at room temperature.
The pastry was wonderfully short and full of flavour, the slightly nutty, almost sweetness of the Gruyere the perfect foil for the greens and sweet red peppers all enveloped in cream and eggs. A basil and tomato salad on the side added a little bright and green to cut through the richness of the tart and left overs made for tasty lunch the next day. This tart didn't last any longer than that as I was even happy to scoff it straight from the fridge.
If you like this you might like this Chard & Kale Falafel with a Lemon Tahini & Sumac Sauce
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