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Smoked Salmon Tart

The secret of a great tart or quiche is a perfect pastry base – crisp, light and flaky, without a hint of sogginess – to offset the rich, creamy filling. Here is the best of both worlds – a luscious smoked salmon tart that's simplicity itself.

 
 
 Smoked Salmon Tart

  Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course with a salad

Ingredients
For the filling:
 9 oz (250 g) smoked salmon trimmings
 2 large eggs, plus 1 extra yolk, beaten
 1 x 200 ml tub crème fraîche
 freshly grated nutmeg
 pinch cayenne pepper
 freshly milled black pepper
For the Parmesan pastry:
 4 oz (110 g) plain flour
 pinch salt
 1 oz (25 g) lard, at room temperature
 1 oz (25 g) butter, at room temperature
 1 oz (25 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), with the baking sheet on the centre shelf.
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Equipment
You will also need a 9½ inch (24 cm) loose-bottomed quiche tin, 1 inch (2 cm) deep, lightly greased, and a solid baking sheet.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course and The Delia Collection: Fish. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Jan 1996)

Method

To make the pastry, sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.

Then add the lard and butter and, using only your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the fat into the flour, again lifting the mixture up high all the time to give it a good airing.

When everything is crumbly, add the Parmesan and then sprinkle in some cold water – about 1 tablespoon. Start to mix the pastry with a knife and then finish off with your hands, adding more drops of water till you have a smooth dough that will leave the bowl clean.

Then pop it into a polythene bag and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After that, roll the pastry out into a circle about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, then transfer it, rolling it over the pin, to the tin. Press lightly and firmly over the base and sides of the tin, pushing up the sides to come about ¼ inch (5 mm) above the rim of the tin all round. Now prick the base all over with a fork, then brush with some of the beaten egg for the filling.

Place the tin on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Check halfway through the cooking time to make sure the pastry isn't rising up in the centre.


If it is, just prick it a couple of times and press it back down with your hands. When the pastry case is cooked, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

Now arrange the smoked salmon trimmings over the base of the tart. Then, in a jug, mix the eggs with the crème fraîche and season with freshly milled black pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg, but don't put any salt in it as the smoked salmon is already quite salty.

Now pop the tart back on the half-pulled-out oven shelf, then pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper.

Bake it for 30-35 minutes until the centre is just set and the surface is puffy and a light golden brown colour, then remove it from the oven and let it settle for about 10 minutes before serving.

Remove it from the tin by placing it in on an upturned jar, which will allow you to ease the sides away.

Using a palette knife or a fish slice, slide it underneath and ease the tart carefully on to a plate or board, ready to serve.

 

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