Spinach, goat cheese and egg tart

Spinach, goat cheese, egg tart

After a long Christmas break back at home with family, I am back to my little cosy flat with my small, but very familiar kitchen. My fridge is still recovering from the weeks of emptiness and so are my baking skills that have not been put to good use way too long. That’s why I have decided to say hello to the new and exciting year 2016 with this simple four ingredient tart. While the preparation is extremely straight forward, the flavour is far from plain. Goat cheese and spinach are made to be together and egg just adds more to the combination that would be a hit at any brunch.

Spinach, goat cheese, egg tart

SPINACH, GOAT’S CHEESE AND EGG TART

Ingredients

1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
125g goat’s cheese
200g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well
3 eggs

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 20cm tart tin with the sheet of shortcrust pastry. Cut away the excess pastry. With a fork make some holes across the surface. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes.
  2. When the crust is ready remove it from the oven and crumble goat cheese to cover the base. Then evenly distribute chopped spinach on top. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes add the eggs on top and bake for further 15 minutes. If you prefer eggs to be runny reduce this time by a couple of minutes.

Spinach, goat cheese, egg tart

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Peach and almond tart

Peach frangipane tart
Some time ago I wrote about home grown peaches we got from Genis’ grandpa’s garden. Some of them were used in these delicious peach and raspberry cupcakes. The rest had to be frozen only to be rediscovered last week in the corner of the freezer. So, the summer might be over, but it doesn’t mean that the fruity flavours are off the table.

Peach frangipane tart

This tart is a perfect way to put those gorgeous fruits in the spotlight. And I just love how curvy this little tart turned out to be! It is a true feast for the eyes and the belly!

PEACH AND ALMOND TART (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)

Ingredients

1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
50g caster sugar
70g butter
1 egg
70g ground almonds
25g flour
4 small peaches, cut in half
2-3 tablespoons peach jam

chopped almonds

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line 20cm tart tin with the sheet of shortcrust pastry. Cut away the excess pastry. Line with baking paper and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove paper and beans and bake for further 8 minutes.
  2. In the meantime prepare the filling. Beat together sugar and butter until pale and smooth. Beat in the egg, almonds and flour. Spoon this mixture into prepared pastry case. Arrange the peach halves across the top.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. When cooked, let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then brush the jam on top. Sprinkle some chopped almonds on top and cool completely before serving.

Peach frangipane tart
Peach frangipane tart

Rhubarb crumble tartlets

Rhubarb crumble tartlets

Sharing is caring, you say? Well, I must have 0 caring then, because I made these tartlets over the weekend and didn’t share any of them. These sweet, rich and indulgent beauties turned me into a very selfish (but happy) person who ate dessert for breakfast for 4 days. If you look at the pictures you will only see 5 tarts even though the recipe makes 6. That’s right, I couldn’t even wait long enough to take pictures… No regrets though.

However, I’m back to my normal self now and I think I am ready to share this recipe.

This was the first time I used and, in fact, tried muscovado sugar. I’m so glad BakingMad.com package I received last week included Billington’s light muscovado sugar. It gave these tarts such a rich flavour and irresistible smell.

Just top them with a scoop of vanilla and you’ve got yourself an ultimate “Treat yo self” moment. Obviously, they are great for sharing too, if you are not as selfish as I am 🙂

Enjoy!

RHUBARB CRUMBLE TARTLETS (Makes 6 tartlets)

Ingredients

Crust and topping
200g (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
150g (3/4 cup) light muscovado sugar
pinch of salt
160g cold butter

Filling
2 eggs
50g (1/4 cup) light muscovado sugar + 1 teaspoon for rhubarb
45g (1/3 cup) all purpose flour
115ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 stalk of rhubarb

Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Preparation

  1. Grease tartlet cases and set aside. Preheat oven to 170°c.
  2. Add flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter to a medium bowl. Using your hands mix until combined & crumbly.
  3. Set aside 1 cup of this crumble mix. Take remaining part and firmly press into the tartlet cases, covering the bottom. Bake for about 7-10 minutes or until light golden.
  4. While crust is baking whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, yogurt, flour, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Slice rhubarb in small pieces (about 3-4mm each). Place in a saucepan and stir in a teaspoon of sugar. Stir over medium heat until the rhubarb becomes soft. Mix in rhubarb into filling mixture set aside.
  6. When crust is ready remove it from the oven and add the filling.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture that was set aside.
  8. Bake 30 minutes or until top is lightly brown.
  9. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.

Rhubarb crumble tartlets
Rhubarb crumble tartlets
Rhubarb crumble tartlets
Rhubarb crumble tartlets
Rhubarb crumble tartlets

Summer berry almond tart

Summer berry almond tart

Now that the autumn is settling in London again and it seems the rain won’t stop for another four months, anything that could bring back the taste and feel of summer is welcome. This one does it for me. Straight away it takes me back to those sunny afternoons in the park where you’d spend half day laying down without moving (= actively working on soaking up the sun) and dedicate the other half to endless number of Settlers of Catan games. If you don’t know what Catan is, just skip the next paragraph as once you’re into it, there is no way back.

This tart actually must have quite high chances of becoming official Catan desert as every time I baked it me and my friends played Catan (and we play A LOT). There should be a rule that one slice of cake gives you a development card, at least! But as the Committee of Catan (or whoever rules this empire) has not yet approved this, please note that this tart won’t give you any wheat or bricks, not even a sheep. It is a cruel game where even the world’s greatest desert won’t save you. Just look at these concentrated faces – does it look like they would give up their cards for anything? No chance.

Catan in the park
Photo by Gerard Puigmal

Even though this tart might not secure a win in a board game, it does a good job at being the ultimate summer tart with its super berry taste and soft and sweet filling. I have tried a couple of variations of this tart including mixing the berries in the almond filling as in the original BBC Good Food recipe. However, this added extra moisture and the final result was a little bit messy. So I tried adding berries on top instead and it turned out to be a very good looking and delicious tart. My favourite one is a mix of blueberries and raspberries, but blackberries also worked really well.

SUMMER BERRY ALMOND TART

Ingredients

For pastry:
1 ½ cups flour
125g room temperature butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

For filling:
6 tablespoons (85g) softened butter
2/3 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 eggs
2 cups of your preferred berries (In this variation 1 cup raspberries and 1 cup blueberries)

Preparation

Pastry:

  1. Cut up butter in pieces and add to flour. Mix together with hands until you get a crumbly mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl beat egg white with sugar until white and fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat a bit more. Then add soda and a pinch of salt. Give it one last stir and mix into the flour mixture.
  3. Once mixed, use your hands to form a ball of dough. If it sticks to hands add a bit more flour until it doesn’t. Cover the ball in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min.
  4. After 30 min heat oven to 170c. Take the dough out of the fridge and place the dough ball in the centre of tart case. Spread using your hands.
  5. Once all is covered use a fork to make holes in the base. Cover with baking paper and add baking beans to avoid rising.
  6. Bake 10 min. Take out the case and remove baking beans. Bake uncovered for 5 min.

Filling:

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

  1. Beat together softened butter and sugar until it is fluffy. Stir in almonds and beaten eggs.
  2. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and smoothen the top.
  3. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.
  4. When the pastry becomes slightly crisp and golden, take the tart out of the oven and decorate the top with blueberries and raspberries. Use your imagination here! I opted out for simple circles, but you can create any shapes or forms you would like.
  5. Bake for further 10-13 minutes.
  6. Cool the tart in the tin and then lift onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

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