A TART THAT'S BOTH IMPRESSIVE AND SIMPLE.
I’ve served this as a starter when friends are over for dinner, had it as a weekend lunch with a chilled glass of the pink stuff, and rustled it up after work for a mid week supper.
It fits in all kinds of places and the only problem you’ll have with it is trying not to scoff the lot yourself.
The combination of flavours work brilliantly. Salty and rich ham, delicate and slinky sweet figs and piquant, creamy gorgonzola come together perfectly in the smooth and savoury custard mix. Add to that how easy the ingredients are to come by (all of these came from Aldi and the figs and gorgonzola from Tesco) you’ve got yourselves a keeper of a dish.
For one 9 inch tart
- A 9 inch tart case lightly buttered
- 350mls single cream
- 5 egg yolks and 2 eggs
- 110g grated ementhal cheese
- 80g serrano ham (around 4 slices) fat removed from the edge
- Short crust pastry read to roll, the lined tart will take around 240g pastry
- 3 figs, quartered lengthways and each quarter then halved again lengthways
- 85g gorgonzola broken into dice-like nuggets
- Half a teaspoon ground black pepper
- A couple of scrunches of sea salt
- Rocket and Parmesan salad to serve
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Start by blind baking the case. Roll the pastry out to around 4mm thick and carefully drape inside the buttered tart case, leave some pastry overhanging the edge, you’ll trim it later. Carefully press the pastry into the corners and against the sides but don’t pierce it or make it too thin – and don’t prick the base.
- Lay a sheet of baking paper inside the case so it’s overlapping the sides (so you can remove it later) and fill with baking beans or dry uncooked rice, pop it into the oven once its at temperature for 20 minutes, then remove the baking paper and its contents, and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, then remove it.
- When you’ve removed it from the oven using a sharp knife cut away the excess that is hanging over the edge, because by this time the case wont shrink any further. Make sure you take off just the excess and don’t trim the actual edge, or you won’t be able to get a good depth of filling in there.
- Next, in a bowl or jug whisk the eggs and add the cream, salt and pepper and grated ementhal and pour the mixture into the case.
- Now you can add in your other ingredients, start with the ham and keeping it whole lay the strips of it across the tart and push it under the egg mix, then add your figs, I liked to do them fanning out from the centre but it really doesn’t matter, and finally, liberally dot the gorgonzola over the top, evenly around the tart case.
- Put it back into the oven for 25 minutes until the top has turned a nutty gold and the middle wobbles a little but not too much – we want soft set and slinky, not runny.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool a little before eating – and it’s lovely hot or cold.