There is something elegant and classy about a savoury tart. Portable and self contained, they make for a perfect picnic food, buffet inclusion, starter or light meal. They can be served hot or cold without any compromise to flavour or texture.
For me it is also another way to reuse, repurpose and reinvent left overs and on the edge ingredients. All the pros really, saves money, reduces waste and tastes delicious.
I made the tart from left over roasted sweet potato, baby spinach that was on it’s last legs, thyme from the garden and goats cheese that was waiting to be involved.
The caramelised onions are also fantastic with sausages or on a steak sandwich. If you prefer a less sweet onion either reduce the amount of sugar or cook them the traditional way browning and deglazing until they are dark and and slightly sweet. (this method is a little time consuming as it requires you to be involved continuously)
The pastry recipe can be made and frozen raw in an disk well wrapped in plastic or shaped in shell and wrapped. You simply either, defrost disk and follow instructions from rolling out pastry or cook the tart shell from frozen (no pastry beads required) Another option is to make the whole tart recipe, cook and allow to cool, then freeze, just defrost and warm in a moderate oven. I personally keep 1 of both.
Sweet Potato, Caramelised Onion, baby spinach, goats cheese and thyme tart (Gluten Free)
Pastry (1 large or 4 small)
1 1/2 cup Gf Plain Flour
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
60g Cold Butter
2 Egg Yolk or 1 Whole Egg
1/4 cup milk or cold water
500g Brown Onions
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 Medium Sweet Potato roasted
20g Baby Spinach
20g Goats Cheese
Salt and Pepper
7 Sprigs fresh Thyme
For Caramelised Onions: Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat.
Halve the onions from root to tip. Place cut side down and very finely slice from the shortest end. (to create half moon shapes).
Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat and cook off the onions, stirring until starting to brown and caramelise, approx. 10minutes.
Add the vinegar and brown sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce heat to medium low.
Cook stiring occasionally until all liquid has evaporated and absorbed, approx. 30minutes.
Allow to cool.
For Pastry: Combine flour, Xanthan Gum and butter in a food processor and whiz until fine breadcrumbs.
Add Egg and Vinegar and pulse until just combined.
Add the water/milk and pulse until barely incorporated.
Tip out and bring together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Oven preheated to 190c.
Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of silicone paper until the correct size for the tart tin.
Place in tart shell and press into the corners. Line with silicone paper and place baking beads or dried beans to cover (this is to stop it puffing up)
Bake for 10-15 minutes until just cooked and pulling away from the sides of tin.
For Filling: Preheat oven to 180C
Combine Eggs and cream and the leaves of 3 sprigs of thyme and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. (I use a pirex jug for this it’s easier to pour the egg mix out later on)
Place the tart tin on a flat tray (incase of leakage)
Put a thin layer of the onions in the base of the pastry shell.
Pile the remaining ingredients into the tart tin. (I like to pile it beyond the rim and have a mix of the ingredients showing)
Pour the egg mix in slowly. To help the egg mix settle gently shake the tin. Also pouring a few different positions also helps with coverage.
When filled place the tart into the preheated oven for 30-40minutes or until the egg mix has just set in the middle.
Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and some more goats cheese.
Serve hot or cold.
If you prefer a shorter pastry (code for more flakey and rich) add more butter and reduce the amount of liquid.
Rolling the pastry between 2 sheets of silicone paper works best, but feel free to use which ever method your comfortable with.
Xanthan Gum is available from most major supermarkets, green grocers/deli, heath food shops and online.
The vinegar helps to add a smoothness to the pastry and also helps with elasticity.