That's how I roll: Bill Granger's tasty tarts
Sometimes he makes his own, sometimes he buys pre-prepared puff, sometimes he doesn't use pastry at all. When it comes to tarts, our chef goes his own way
Sunday 22 September 2013
Not so long ago I would have said that there was no place left in the world (or at least not in my world) for quiches. Now here I am writing a recipe for one. It's interesting that baking has become so mainstream. It used to be the preserve of the serious home cook and came with quite a mumsy reputation – so ageing and uncool.
How different things are now that Mary Berry has shown us that there's nothing wrong with getting older; if you wear a bright-yellow jacket with it, that is. With her funky clothes and trendy passion for baking, she's suddenly more current than many of us, and certainly seems younger than she did in the 1980s.
There are tarts here to fit all moods. My version of the "comeback quiche" is great for making on a quiet rainy day, when you have the time to make pastry and blind-bake. Oozing with melty fontina and dolcelatte, it's a world away from the bland, stodgy quiches of the past.
Much quicker and punchier in flavour and spirit is the raddichio, broccoli and Taleggio tart opposite. It can be a meal in its own right or, cut into small pieces, would make a great nibble when friends come for drinks. The cheeky breakfast tarts, meanwhile, are just a bit of fun. Great if you're going carb-free for the day, but even better with a slice of buttered sourdough.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 75 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Radicchio, broccoli and Taleggio tart
I'm such a fan of ready-rolled puff pastry – it makes putting together a delicious tart so effortless.
375g/12oz all-butter puff pastry
2 tbsp olive oil
300g/10oz tenderstem broccoli
2 garlic cloves, sliced
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
3 tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
2 heads radicchio, leaves separated
50g/2oz walnut halves
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
100g/3½oz Taleggio, sliced
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Unroll the pastry on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to mark a 1cm border around the pastry, being careful not to go all the way through to the base. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Heat the butter and 1 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium to low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the broccoli and half of each of the garlic and chilli. Pour in the stock and cook for 2 minutes, turning frequently. Add the radicchio and cook for 2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Finely chop half the walnuts and stir into a bowl with the parsley and remaining garlic k and chilli. Stir in the remaining tbsp of oil and spread the dressing over the cooked pastry base. Top with the cooked vegetables, then the Taleggio and remaining walnut halves. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
Leek, fontina and dolcelatte tart
This is so rich and gooey that a little goes a long way. I like to serve it with a crisp green salad dressed with a sharp vinaigrette.
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg/2lb leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
1 tbsp thyme leaves
80ml/3fl oz dry white wine
150ml/¼ pint crème fraîche
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
75g/3oz fontina cheese, coarsely grated
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
For the pastry
250g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
110g/3¾oz unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
For the pastry, pulse the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, Parmesan and 3 tbsp chilled water and pulse again until the pastry starts to come together. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead lightly to form a smooth round. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
For the filling, heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and half the thyme, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, until the leeks are very tender. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Grease a 23cm spring-form tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use to line the tin. Chill for 20 minutes. Cover with a scrunched-up piece of baking paper then add baking beans and cook the pastry for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, tip out the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Stir the crème fraîche and egg yolks into the cooled leeks. Fold through the fontina and dolcelatte then spoon into the pastry case, smoothing the top. Scatter with the Parmesan and remaining thyme and bake for 30 minutes, until set and golden. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Once you've had a go at these cheeky little tarts, you can play around with the fillings. Slices of roasted pepper, little grilled artichokes or a spoonful of spicy tomato sauce would all work well as a replacement for the spinach.
1 tbsp light-flavoured oil
100g/3½oz baby spinach, wilted
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with oil and line the holes with prosciutto, making sure there are no gaps. Divide the spinach between the prosciutto cases and break an egg into each one.
Add a dollop of ricotta into each and season with salt.
Scatter some chilli over each tart and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the eggs are set and the prosciutto crisp. Set aside to cool for 2 minutes then carefully ease the tarts out of the tin with a palette knife. Serve immediately.
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