Friday, November 12, 2010
SMOKED SALMON AND DILL TARTS
Good evening boys and girls !
A tart is shallow, frivolous, fancy, dressed up with an open top. Usually baked in a shallow tin with a removable bottom and served on a pretty serving plate. A pie is down to earth, covered up, substantial and deep. Usually baked in a deep pie dish or bowl and served in it. But both may be sweet or savoury. And both are to be eaten.
And I'm happy to report that in today's unisexual world the word tart is used not only to disparage women but also men who are considered promiscuous and flamboyant ..... "with a fruity lisp and tight clothing"
Fruithy lispth? Fruithy listhpth? Gasthp. That soundths adorable.
This is a tart recipe I saw a picture of in GoodFood magazine. (I love GoodFood magazine). These tarts could be made ahead, frozen and re-heated when guests arrive. Extremely easy to put together and like all tarts are fancy and playful. And cute. I had a grand time with them.
They are such dear little things I would serve them as part of a casual dinner party as a finger food out on a patio. If only I hadn't burnt them.
The recipe ~ from GoodFood magazine.....
500 bought shortcrust pastry or home made shortcrust pastry
8 oz smoked salmon, cut into strips
2 T fresh chopped dill
284 carton single cream (I used double)
wedges of lime to serve
Heat oven to 180 C. Use 6 4 inch tart pans. I used smaller pans so I got more tarts than I bargained for.
Pastry recipe :
8 oz plain flour
4 oz butter, cold and cubed
2-3 T cold water
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
Sift flour, put in butter and rub butter into flour with your finger tips until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and mix first with a spatula and then as it gets lumpy somewhat use your fingers to bring the dough together.
Do not knead. This is not bread. It is pastry so it needs a light hand otherwise the gluten in the flour will get activated and the pastry will be tough.
You could use a food processor very successfully but make sure you pulse the butter in the flour until it becomes like fine breadcrumbs and then add the water through the feed tube while the machine is running. Let the machine run until the mixture gathers into a ball. Turn off immediately and take out the dough. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out the dough and cut into rounds bigger than your tart pans. Line the pans (there is no need to grease the pans because the pastry is already buttery).
Line the pastry with rounds of greaseproof paper (I used foil) and fill to the top with beans (I used rice). Bake blind for 1o minutes. Remove from oven and remove the beans/rice and then bake another 5 minutes until golden. Reduce oven temp to 180C.
Build Tart :
Divide the salmon strips between the tart shells. Beat eggs and dill. Add cream and whisk, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour custard into tartlets. Bake for 15 minutes until the filling is set and top is pale gold.
Cool then wrap in foil and chill or freeze up to a month and defrost before re-heating.
To re-heat :
Pre-heat oven to 180 C and bake defrosted tarts for 10 minutes.