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These are perfect to serve warm as a dessert, although I personally prefer them chilled. Either way, they just melt in the mouth, with pastry as light as a whisper and a filling of wobbly custard flavoured with vanilla, caramel and cinnamon.
The long, slow cooking of red onions and balsamic vinegar gives a lovely sweet, concentrated caramel consistency. These are then spooned into crisp cheese pastry cases and topped with melted goats' cheese and sage.
When we made these tartlets for the photography, we couldn't stop eating them! Crisp, light pastry with such a luscious filling – and also lovely as a first course at a supper party.
The texture of these is not like anything else. They are very short and buttery, and seem to just melt in the mouth. We like them filled with morello cherry jam because by contrast it’s not too sweet.
It is so simple to make proper custard, not only does it taste better than anything ready made it freezes well too.
This recipe was kindly given to me by a lady called Christine who lives in Nice. You'd think that when they eat it there it would be made with fresh tomatoes ripened in the Provencal sun - but no, she uses tinned tomatoes and bought puffed pastry.
This tart can also be made with Parmesan pastry, you can also add a tablespoon of finely chopped sage to the filling and arrange sage leaves on the top before it is sprinkled with cheese and baked
Delia's recipe for Smoked Salmon and Dill Tart will serve 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course
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