Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Tart
In the summer, one of my favourite starters is Piedmont Roasted Peppers. What I have done here is try to capture all those brilliant flavours and make them into a warm tart more suitable for a winter starter.
|For the pastry:|
|4 oz (110 g) plain flour|
|1½ oz (40 g) softened butter, cut into smallish lumps|
|½ oz (10 g) softened lard, cut into smallish lumps|
|½ oz (10 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated|
|1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme|
|a pinch of salt|
|For the filling:|
|4 medium red peppers|
|12 oz (350 g) ripe, red tomatoes|
|2 tablespoons olive oil|
|1 large clove garlic, chopped|
|2 oz (50 g) anchovy fillets in oil|
|1 level tablespoon tomato purée|
|1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme|
|2 large eggs|
|2 large egg yolks|
|1 teaspoon sweet, mild pimentón (smoked paprika)|
|sea salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin, 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep; and two baking trays measuring 11 x 16 inches (28 x 40 cm).|
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.
Begin by preparing the filling. First skin the tomatoes. To do this, place them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water on to them. Leave them for exactly a minute (or 15-30 seconds if the tomatoes are small), then remove them, slip off their skins (protecting your hands with a cloth if they are hot) and cut them in half. Next, prepare the peppers. Halve them, then remove the seeds and slice each half into three strips. Place the peppers and tomato halves in a bowl and add a tablespoon of the oil, the garlic and some seasoning (going easy on the salt because of the anchovies). Give it all a good mix, then spread everything out on one of the baking trays and roast in the top part of the oven for about 50 minutes.
Now make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, first cutting in the fats wiht a palette knife and then rubbing lightly with your fingertips, lifting everything up and letting it fall back into the bowl to give it a good airing. When the mixture reaches the crumb stage, sprinkle in the Parmesan and thyme. Then sprinkle in a tablespoon of cold water to bring it together to a smooth dough that leaves the sides of the bowl absolutely clean, with no crumbs left, adding a few more drops, if needed. Place the pastry in a plastic food bag in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pre-heat the second baking tray. Next, transfer the pastry to a flat, lightly floured surface, roll it out to a circle and line the tin with it. Now prick the base with a fork (to prevent it rising) and brush it with a little of the egg for the filling. Bake the tart base on the pre-heated baking tray, at the same temperature as the peppers and tomatoes, for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow the peppers and tomatoes to cool before placing them in a food processor or blender, along with the anchovy fillets and all their oil.
Next, add the tomato purée and thyme and blend until everything is reduced to a thick, smooth mixture. Then, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks together, along with pimenton, then stir in the pepper-and-tomato mixture and the other tablespoon of olive oil. When the tart base is cooked, turn the oven temperature up to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), then spoon the mixture into it and bake in the oven on the centre shelf for 35 minutes, or until it is firm and set in the centre. Leave the tart to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
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Proof that the best recipes are often the easiest to prepare, this is a wonderful way to enjoy peppers in late summer when they're in season.
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