This tart was so tasty we ate almost all of it at one sitting… well, it does have potatoes in it so it is almost a meal-in-one. As fish-loving non-meat eaters, who sometimes arrive at the house late at night without a trip to the supermarket, we keep small packs of smoked salmon in the freezer. Most often it gets thrown into a quick pasta dish with cream cheese and peas. But this tart deserves to have smoked salmon bought especially for it. It’s another Rachel Allen recipe from her Everyday Kitchen television programme. For the shortcrust pastry:-
200g plain flour
100g butter, chilled
1 egg beaten
For the filling:-
200g potatoes, peeled and halved if large
1 onion, diced
200ml double cream [we used longlife nata para cocinar]
100g smoked salmon, cut into 1cm pieces
1 tbsp chives, chopped [Rachel uses dill but we can’t grow that here]
You will need a 23cm diameter tart tin with a loose-bottomed base.
First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add half the beaten egg and, using your hands, bring the dough together. Add a little more egg if the mixture is dry. Reserve the rest of the beaten egg for brushing over the finish pastry.
Without kneading the dough, carefully shape it into a 1-2cm thick round, using your hands to flatten it. Cover it with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Take the pastry out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of cling film, each bigger than the tart tin. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Make sure it is round, and large enough to line the base and sides of your tin.
Remove the top layer of cling film, place the pastry upside down, cling film side facing up, in the tart tin. There’s no need to flour or grease the tin before. Just press the pastry into the edges of the tin, with the cling film still attached to the dough, using your thumb to ‘cut’ the pastry along the edge of the tin for a neat finish. If there are any holes or gaps in the pastry, simply patch them up with a spare piece of dough. Remove the cling film and chill the pastry in its tin in the fridge for 15 minutes [or the freezer for 5 minutes]. Remove the tin from the fridge, and line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, leaving plenty of paper to come up over the sides. Fill the tin with baking beans or dried pulses [afterwards, store in a jar so you can use them over and over again]. Bake ‘blind’ for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry feels just dry to the touch on the base.
Take out of the oven, remove the paper and beans, brush with a little of the remaining beaten egg. Return to the oven for 3 minutes. Before it goes back into the oven this last time, check for any gaps in the pastry and patch using leftover raw pastry so the filling doesn’t leak out when cooking later. Once the pastry case has been baked ‘blind’, take it out of the oven and set aside in the tin while you make the filling.
For the filling, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil, cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, leave to cool a little, then cut into slices 5mm thick.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
Melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onion and saute for about 10 minutes or until soft and a little golden. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the cooked onions in the bottom of the tart case, top with a layer of sliced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over the chives and arrange the smoked salmon pieces on top. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the fish and potatoes, use a sieve to catch any pieces of unbeaten egg.
Place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top and just set in the centre. Take out of the oven and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before removing from the tin.