Just the loveliest little tart, this one – singing with fresh spring flavour. Once you’ve prepared the pastry base, it’s easy to put together – winning all round!
WHAT YOU NEED
1 quantity rough puff pastry (page 40)
1/2 cup (125 ml) single (pure) cream
1/2 cup (50 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
Grated zest of 1 lemon
300 g (101/2 oz) hot-smoked salmon, flaked
1 zucchini (courgette), very thinly sliced
WHAT TO DO
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it into a loose-based fluted tart tin – mine is 20 cm (8 inches) wide and 3 cm (11/4 inches) deep. The pastry will shrink back into the tin when cooking, so minimise this by leaving extra at the top and really pushing the pastry down and into each indent in the side of the tin. Trim the edge, leaving about 5 mm (1/4 inch) extra. Return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Prick the pastry base with the tines of a fork. Line with baking paper and fill the base with pastry weights, uncooked rice or dried beans (this stops the base rising during baking). Bake for 10 minutes, then gently remove the weights and baking paper and cook for another 5–10 minutes or until the pastry is just lightly golden and looks dry. Meanwhile, prepare the tart filling.
Whisk together the eggs and cream. Season to taste, then add half of the Parmesan and the lemon zest. Pour into the pastry and add the salmon and zucchini. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and grind some black pepper over the top.
Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the top is golden and just firm to touch.
Instead of the zucchini and salmon, you could also use asparagus and goat’s curd; caramelised onion and thyme; or roasted pumpkin and beetroot.