Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ham, tomato & watercress tart

This recipe is from BBC Good Food - Bank Holiday Special - May 2008
by Emma Lewis


200 g plain flour (7 ounces)
50 g fine cornmeal, plus extra for dusting (1.75 ounces)
140 g cold butter , cut into small pieces (5 ounces)
50 g parmesan cheese, finely grated (1.75 ounces)
1 egg


4 eggs and 2 egg yolks
400 ml double cream (1 2/3 cups)
150 g smoked ham slices (5.25 ounces)
100 g sundried tomatoes (3 1/2 ounces)
handful watercress

Place the flour, polenta, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor, then whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip in the Parmesan and egg, then pulse through 2 tbsp cold water until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in cling film, then chill for 30 mins.

Dust a work surface with more polenta, then roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and wide enough to fit a 28cm tart case. Gently ease into the case, then trim away any big bits of overhanging pastry (leave a little excess sticking up around the edges as the pastry will shrink when cooking). Chill for another 30 mins.

Heat oven to 360 degrees. Place a sheet of baking parchment into the pastry case, then fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and parchment, then bake for another 5 mins or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool a little. Use a serrated knife to trim away any bits of overhanging pastry, then place the pastry case on a baking sheet.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the eggs and cream with a little salt. Arrange the ham, tomatoes and watercress in the case, then pour around the egg mixture. Cook for 30 mins, just until the egg has set. Can be made up to 1 day ahead and chilled.

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