I saw this recipe on a recent showing of an episode of Mary Berry’s Fantastic Feasts. It looked so good that I just had to try it. The original recipe can be found on the BBC Food website.
The first thing to say is that the pastry for these tartlets is just perfect. It uses parmesan and a little paprika to impart a really wonderful flavour. Chilling the rolled out pastry in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking keeps it firm enough to prevent the filling from seeping into it. That means that the pastry is wonderfully crisp.
However good the pastry may be it would be nothing without a great filling. That is just what we have with some roasted red peppers, grated cheese and as well as some chives. There is also some sundried tomato paste and garlic, adding even more nuance to the flavours. To set the tartlets we use egg and cream. That whole combination makes a great filling and wonderful tartlets.
The recipe isn’t difficult. In fact the most difficult part is probably rolling out the pastry. It is enough to make 24 tartlets when rolled nice and thinly.
The recipe is kept simple by having just a few easy steps. Firstly the pastry is easy to make. The next step is to roll out the pastry. Once cut into 8 cm discs it is used to line 2 12 hole buns tins. Freeze the bun tins for 20 minutes. Next, preheat the oven. Make the filling. Then fill the tart cases and bake them.
I made the pastry as mention and froze it as prescribed. Then I mixed the peppers, garlic and sundried tomato paste together. Next I distributed that mixture into the cases. Then I whipped the egg, cream and chives. I placed the grated cheese onto the peppers and poured the wet mixture over it. I was careful not to over fill the cases. Lastly I placed slices of cherry tomatoes on the top and baked the tartlets for 25 minutes.
They baked up perfectly. The pastry was wonderfully crisp and the egg/cream mixture rose and the cheese melted into it. I allowed the tartlets to cool for a few minutes before easily transferring them to a rack to cool.
However even before they cooled I just had to sample one. The taste was fantastic, such a great combination of flavours and textures.
These tartlets would be great to serve at parties or any type of get together. Great too for picnics in the summer. Indeed great at any time.
Another great savoury recipe is Mushroom & Chestnut Tartlets.
Red Pepper Cheese & Chive TartletsCourse: Pies, Tarts
175g(1 cup + 3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
100g(7 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed
50g(1 3/4 oz) grated parmesan cheese
1g(1/4 tsp) paprika
1 medium egg(large in USA), beaten
175g(1 cup) roasted red pepper, patted dry and diced quite small
175g(about2 1/2 cups) grated cheddar cheese(or other hard cheese)
27g(1 1/2 tbsp) sundried tomato paste(or tomato paste)
2 large eggs(xl in USA) – see note below
200ml(1/2 cup+1/3 cup) double cream
2 tbsp or so of freshly and finely chopped chives
1 clove of garlic, minced or finely chopped
24 even slices of cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Place the flour, parmesan, paprika and butter into a food processor and pulse until it all resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the beaten egg and pulse/process again until the mixture clumps together into a dough.
- Tip the dough out onto the work surface and squeeze into a single ball.
- Flour the work surface, top of the dough and the rolling pin.
- Roll out the dough very thinly and cut out 24 8cm/3 inch discs, re-rolling the dough as required. – see note below.
- Place each disc into the holes of two bun pans(greased if they are not non stick).
- Place the bun pans into the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/390F.
- Mix the sundried tomato paste and garlic into the red peppers.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in
- Beat the eggs into the cream and then mix the chives in too.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the red pepper mix evenly into each of the 24 pastry cases.
- Place equal amounts of cheese onto the red peppers, making sure that none of the cheese overhangs the edge of the pastry.
- Carefully pour the egg/cream mixture into each case, without over filling(you may have a little mixture left over)
- Place 2 slices of cherry tomato onto each of the tartlets.
- Place the tartlets into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and the filling has risen and set.
- Remove the tartlets from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- I used large(xl in USA) eggs but medium(large in USA) eggs will work fine too if that is what you have.
- I actually divided my dough into two equal piece and rolled them out separately, one of each of the bun pans. That helped in not working the dough too much.