I know that puff pastry can take ages to make, but it tastes so much better than the shop bought stuff, and I can guarantee that you will be boasting to everyone about the fact that you made puff pastry…from scratch! Always good to make more than needed, then freeze some so that you have some in the freezer for a pie or to impress the in-laws with! Shop bought will do just fine if you can’t find time to make your own; just make sure it’s the ‘all-butter’ variety. You can also top the below tart with anything that you may have in your fridge or freezer…I’m a big believer in not wasting any food and so will use up anything to make supper before going shopping. Unless I fancy a curry of course!
There’s enough pastry to make three tarts, but the sauce and toppings will be enough for one. Enjoy!
Seasonal Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart
- 400g Plain Flour
- 400g Unsalted Butter, Cold
- 185ml Cold Water
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- Lemon Juice
- 40g Salted Butter
- 40g Plain Flour
- Full Fat Milk
- Salt and Pepper
- 60g Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 Small Courgette, cut into ribbons using a potato peeler
- 8 Asparagus Spears, cut in half lengthways
- Handful of small, colourful Tomatoes, cut in half
- 2-3 Spring Onions, cut on the diagonal
- Handful each of baby Spinach Baby Leaves and Rocket
- Parmesan for sprinkling
- Salt and Pepper
Make the pastry by mixing everything together except 250g of the butter. Place the dough wrapped in cling film in the fridge for 1 hour. Flatten the remaining butter by bashing it with a rolling pin between to sheets of greaseproof paper until it’s around 8-10mm thick. Roll the chilled dough to a long rectangle and place the butter on top of the dough, covering the top 2/3 of the dough. Fold up the bottom 1/3 of dough over the bottom 1/3 of the butter and then bring the top 1/3 of the dough and butter down so that the pastry has been folded like a business letter. Turn the dough a quarter turn and then gently roll out the dough and butter into another long rectangle. Fold again into the ‘business letter’ before wrapping in plastic wrap and placing back in the fridge for another hour.
Repeat the rolling out and ‘business letter’ fold four more times, then you have puff pastry ready to be used. The amount of pastry will make three tarts, so you can either use it all or freeze it in portions so that you have ready to use puff pastry to make the tarts another time or use it as pie lid or for vol au vents.
Roll 1/3 of the pastry out into a rectangle, place on a lightly buttered baking sheet, prick with a fork and place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes whilst you prepare the sauce and toppings.
To make the sauce melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat then add the flour and combine well until the butter and flour are like a thick paste. I use a whisk as it helps stop lumps forming. Gradually add milk to the paste making sure to whisk it all together to a smooth consistency before adding more milk. The thickness you’re looking to achieve is that of yogurt. Once you’re happy with the consistency, add the parmesan and then check the seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste. Take the sauce off the heat and mix in the egg yolk. Leave to cool slightly before using.
When it comes to topping, you can add whatever you like. I tend to see what’s in the fridge and use up any bits of vegetables or meat. You can also add eggs or use up any pieces of cheese you may have. The recipe is very adaptable which is why it’s handy to have some pastry in the freezer so that you can make a meal from whatever you got at home. Prepare you toppings ready to assemble the tart and set aside for now.
Bake the pastry in a preheated oven at Gas 6/180 Celsius for 20-25 minutes until golden. Assemble the tart by spreading the cheese sauce on first and then add your toppings. Add a little seasoning to the tart before returning to the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the toppings and cheese sauce start to colour. Enjoy with a fresh green salad.
Puff Pastry Tart topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.