This is a wonderful cheesy tart: cheese in the pastry, cheese in the egg mix and cheese on top. It’s a combination of two separate recipes by Delia Smith and is excellent for lunch on a hot summer day. For the cheese pastry [enough for a 20cm flan tin with fluted edges and removable base]:-
50g SR flour
50g wholemeal flour
A pinch of salt
½ tsp mustard powder
50g butter, cold
40g grated Cheddar, or other hard cheese
Cold water, to mix
For the filling:-
50g strong cheese, grated. Preferably Gruyère [we used a mixture of Parmesan and Manchego]
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk [set aside a little of this for sealing the pastry case]
275mg single or double cream [or half cream/half yogurt]
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4, with a baking sheet placed on the centre shelf.
Lightly-grease your flan tin.
First, make the pastry as it needs to be set aside in the fridge to chill. Sift the flours, salt and mustard powder into a mixing bowl, then rub in the fat until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then stir in the grated cheese, and add enough cold water [out of the fridge] to make a dough that leaves the dough clean [we needed 1 tsp]. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While it is chilling, make the filling [nice rhyme!]. Slice the courgettes fairly thinly. Soften the onion in the butter in a frying pan for five minutes. Add the courgettes and brown them a little, turning them frequently. At this stage, finish the pastry case. Roll out the pastry to line the flan tin, we find the easiest way to do this is to lay the lump of pastry on one layer of cling film and put another on top. This pastry/cling film sandwich idea comes from cook Rachel Allen, and it really works! Prick the base with a fork, place it on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, brush the inside of the pastry case with a little beaten egg [from the filling]. Return to the oven for five minutes, then remove from the oven.
Transfer the onion mixture to the pastry case. Sprinkle over the grated Gruyère. Beat the eggs thoroughly, then whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the onion filling, and sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top.
Put the flan tin onto the baking sheet [in case of spillage in the oven] and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the centre is set and the filling is golden and puffy. Serve straight from the oven if possible [though it does reheat rather well the next day]. 5 to remember
triple – triple
la masa – the pastry
separado/a – separate
ondulado/a – fluted
desmontable – removable
‘Delia’s Complete Cookery Course’ by Delia Smith [BBC Books]