Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Aged goat cheddar and tomato tart

Aged bandaged goat cheddar, pictured here with lavosh
and two chutneys. The tart itself looked lovely, but got
eaten before anybody could think about taking a photo.
This tart is the perfect accompaniment to any Summer-evening barbecue - we used our second ever aged bandaged goat cheddar, and adapted this recipe to suit the sweeter, tangier flavor of goat cheddar. With thanks to Helen, who produced the milk that made the cheddar, and Mr Farmer, for being on the taste-test panel.

Flaky Cheddar Pastry:

200 g white flour
50 g butter
50 g lard*
25 g aged goat cheddar**, finely grated
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
dash freshly cracked black pepper
2 T water

Rub butter and lard into flour, cayenne and salt. Stir in cracked pepper, then mix in water. Leave to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Roll out, press into a shallow 26-cm (10 inch) pie tin - the trick is to make the sides extend only a little above the base, as the filling doesn't add much height, and the sides do overcook easily. Cover with baking paper (or tinfoil, if you're out of baking paper), fill with beans (or other small, weighty, oven-proof objects), and bake in a preheated 190°C (370°F) oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans, and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.


6 medium-sized tomatoes, halved
salt, pepper and oil
1 egg
1 t dijon mustard
20 g aged goat cheddar**, finely grated
pinch of thyme

While your pastry is resting, put a little oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish, and place the halved tomatoes cut-side down on top of the oil. Bake for 10 minutes at 190°C (your oven should be conveniently preheated to this temperature at this stage). Remove from the oven and leave to cool - the tomatoes should be soft but not shapeless at this point. In the meantime, beat the egg, and mix with the dijon mustard, thyme and finely-grated goat cheddar. You'll end up with a rather thick mixture - don't panic; it is meant to turn out like this.

Once your pastry and tomatoes have cooled, remove the tomato skins (and cores), and slice the tomatoes in half again. Spread the egg mixture over the cooked pastry shell, then place the tomatoes on top. Cook in a 190°C oven for 20 minutes. You can serve the tart warm, but it really is nicest cold.

*you can use butter (or margarine) in place of lard, but lard makes a wonderful, light pastry.
 **actually, any old cheddar will suffice, but don't tell Helen.

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