Ploughman's Cheese and Pickle Tart
People say not to go food shopping when hungry, but I disagree, and a ploughman's sandwich is my favourite thing to eat while I do the weekly shop. That combination of strong cheese and tart chunky pickle is my inspiration for this recipe. Cut through the cheesy filling and you'll find a hidden layer of pickle waiting to tantalize your taste buds with a hint of heat from the pastry.
|plain flour, for dusting|
|200g||sandwich pickle (small chunks)|
|250g||mature Cheddar cheese, grated|
You will need a 23cm diameter, 3–4cm deep, loose-bottomed flan tin and baking beans.
Take the block of shortcrust pastry, flatten it out slightly and sprinkle all over with the paprika. Fold the edges in over the top, then knead the pastry until all the paprika is incorporated. If the pastry starts to stick to the worktop, dust with flour.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and put a baking tray in to heat up.
Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and large enough to cover the base and sides of a 23cm diameter, 3–4cm deep, loose-bottomed flan tin.
Line the inside of the tin with the rolled-out pastry. Press it into the edges, right into the grooves, leaving some overhang. Pierce the base all over with a fork. This stops it puffing up while baking.
Cover the base and sides with a large piece of baking paper and fill with baking beans to weigh the pastry down. Take the hot baking tray out of the oven and place the prepared tart tin on it.
Bake for 25 minutes, then take out of the oven, remove the paper and baking beans, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put your eggs into a jug and lightly whisk. Add the milk and stir.
Once the tart shell is out of the oven, spread the pickle all over the base and cover evenly with the grated cheese.
Pour in the milky egg mixture and place the whole tray back in the oven, on the middle shelf, for 25–30 minutes, until the filling is set and golden with just a very slight wobble in the middle.
Once the tart is cool enough to handle, slice off the pastry overhang using a sharp serrated knife. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tip: This tart is best served lukewarm or cold and is great for picnics, lunchboxes or food on the go. It can also be frozen for up to a month – defrost it in the fridge before eating.
Prep: 25 minutes, plus chilling. Cook:1 hour 10 minutes.