Tag Archives: buckwheat flour pastry

Tomato and goat cheese tart (gf) and upside down tortoises

tomatogoatscheesetart

Our last skiing weekend of the season was an unmitigated success after a slightly shaky start. I tend to be a bit bossy (as I think Hugo has mentioned), meaning that I pay a lot of attention to telling other people what to do, and less attention to what I should be doing. A case in point: on Saturday we took the first chairlift of the day with two other people and my backpack, which could quite legitimately have had a seat of its own, filled as it was with clothes, water, food, camera and video material. One would have been forgiven for assuming we were about to climb Everest, not spend a leisurely day in the Spring snow. In the interests of pedagogy, I explained to Léo on the ride up that, especially when there are four people on the lift, it’s important to go straight forward when you disembark. Five minutes later, I had ended up on my back with my skis in the air like a tortoise on its shell, unable to stand up due to the sheer size and weight of my backpack. The chairlift operator was very kind and stopped the lift (presumably to avoid a tortoise roadkill scenario) and hauled me up with a large smile (or snigger?) and a gracious  ‘bienvenue Madame!’

These savoury tarts are quick and easy to make (particularly if you’ve made the pastry cases in advance) and will be even more delicious when tomatoes come into season properly.

Ingredients for pastry (makes about six mini tarts):

110g buckwheat flour

30g butter

20ml olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for filling:

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3 tomatoes, cut into thin slices

6 slices of goats cheese

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter into small cubes. Add to the flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the olive oil, blending well and then the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel or some cling film and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Bear in mind that buckwheat pastry is extremely crumbly as it contains no gluten to ‘stick’ it together. You’ll probably need to patch and press the pastry into the tins as opposed to just cutting and placing it in as you would with normal pastry. Precook the pastry for 10 minutes.

Fill the tarts with the shallots, garlic and tomato slices, finishing up with a slice of goats cheese on top. Season and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are ‘mushy’ and the cheese has melted.

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Custard tarts (gf) and potential lawsuits

custardtart

The past two weeks have been taken up with various trips and visitors, namely a skiing trip to the Pyrenees, five turbulent ten-year-olds, a labrador puppy and a couple of adolescent hens. Our skiing trip was wonderful, if slightly hair-raising at times. Once on skis, Léo doesn’t believe in doing anything that might slow himself down. I imagine that it’s a bit like skiing with a talking torpedo. According to him, speed control is for sissies and mothers and, as such (I fall into both categories), I was on the receiving end of several barbed ‘what kept you?’ rebukes. Despite this, the snow was abundant, the sun shone everyday and, all things considered, we managed to escape remarkably unscathed. The group of people knocked flying by my human bobsleigh son fell like dominos but won’t be pressing charges as it is thought his actions were not premeditated :-?, so that’s a relief.

These tarts make excellent chairlift food: delectable, nourishing and not too fragile. They are also a good source of milk and eggs for growing torpedoes children. Cooked milk is easier to digest than pasturised milk as the cooking process breaks down the complex proteins, making them more accessible.

Ingredients for pastry (makes about six mini tarts):

110g buckwheat flour

25g butter

25g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for custard:

250ml whole milk

250ml cream

4 tablespoons honey

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel or some cling film and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Bear in mind that buckwheat pastry is extremely crumbly as it contains no gluten to ‘stick’ it together. You’ll probably need to patch and press the pastry into the tins as opposed to just cutting and placing it in as you would with normal pastry. Precook the pastry for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the custard filling by cooking the milk and cream over a low heat. Beat the honey and egg yolks together and slowly add the heated milk and cream mixture, beating constantly. Add the vanilla, blending well and fill the pastry cases with the mixture. Bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes or until the surface begins to brown. Serve chilled.

Leek and Bayonne ham quiche (gluten free)

leekquiche3

If the 1980s bestseller ‘Real Men don’t Eat Quiche’ is anything to go by, you might want to refer to this as egg, leek and ham pie if you feel that might go down better with the men at your table. Of course, strictly speaking, I suppose it’s a tart and not a pie, but I’d put money on the fact that a man who won’t eat quiche won’t be buying into ‘tart’ either. Anyway, enough wittering, I believe in calling a quiche a quiche and if the neanderthals eating at my table don’t like it they can go and shoot their own dinner 😉 My alpha-male husband is actually the exception that confirms the rule – he worships at the altar of The Quiche.

The pastry is made with buckwheat flour, which not only makes it gluten-free, but healthier and tastier than regular pastry; it even stays crisp when served cold. And even if you don’t fancy quiche, it makes a superb base for apple, or any other fruit tart too.

Ingredients for pastry (serves 6-8):

220g buckwheat flour

80g butter

20g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 5 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for filling:

3 leeks, washed and chopped

2 shallots, sliced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

75ml chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

150 ml double cream

2 thin slices of Bayonne ham (or Parma ham), cut into strips

50 mg Cheddar, Parmesan or Comté cheese, grated

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin or tins. Buckwheat pastry contains no gluten, which makes it very fragile. You’ll find that you have to treat it delicately and possibly fill in the cracks with remaining bits of pastry by pressing gently. I tend to use individual tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

For the filling, begin by frying the leeks and shallots in olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the stock and braise for about 20 minutes, or until the leeks are well-cooked and the stock is absorbed. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the cream and seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Beat well to form a homogenous mixture. Place a few small strips of ham on the pastry base, spoon the leek mixture over that, add some grated cheese and then pour the egg and cream mixture over the top. Cook at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown in colour.

leekquiche2