The Art of Tarts
I spent the weekend attending a food photography workshop given by the very talented (and as it turns out very nice too) Helene Dujardin of http://www.tarteletteblog.com. A group of ladies from around the world had all signed up to be able to meet and learn from Helen and it was a great weekend not just because of the content of the course delivered by Helene but also because when you are surrounded by great talent you learn so much from everyone else. Many of the ladies were really generous themselves jumping in to help me out and make suggestions when I was struggling with the settings on my camera. I knew I was a beginner when I signed up, what I did not know was how much I did not know. At the end of day 1, I was pretty close to tears, feeling very inadequate realising I was very out of my comfort zone with my camera, settings, light, styling…. But I held it together and a bonding session over dinner and lots (lots!) of wine in one of the cottages until late in the nite (Thanks ladies, ye know who ye are!) I was armed with a new found confidence the next day. The next day was AMAZING – not just because we cooked and took photographs but because I realised I had learnt loads the previous day – something had gone in and my photos were starting to take shape.
The tarts we made used the pastry recipe from Holly Herrick’s Tart Love Cookbook (check it out, looks lovely). The recipe is below and the beauty of this is that the crust stays soft and crumbly and does not get seem to get tough if you have to roll it out a few times. A tart is a great meal standby – simply look in the fridge and if you have eggs milk and some vegetables, cheeses or meats then you can make a tart. All these are my pics – not all my tarts but I have shown them to give you inspiration on what you can fill yours with…. Enjoy!
310gr plain flour
2 tsp sea salt
8oz cold unsalted butter chopped into little cubes
3 tbsp ice water
Tip flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until it is like sand with only small pieces of butter left.
Gradually add the water until the pastry comes together just.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball, flatten and wrap in cling for at least 30 minutes of preferably overnight.
This makes 2 by 8″ tins or about 12 mini 1 portion tins
Roll out and fill your chosen tin.
Blind bake at 180C for about 15 minutes for the large one, about 7-8 minutes for the small ones.
1-1.5 cups milk or half and half milk and cream,
Salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Chosen filling of vegetables, olives, cheeses and meats.
Whisk eggs until fluffy and gradually add your milk and or cream
Season and add your fillings of choice. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set, or about 15-20 for the smaller ones.If you are using any raw meat such as chicken, cook it off first. Any prosciutto, hams etc won’t require this. Thinly sliced or grated veggies such as courgette, aubergine don’t need to be cooked first.