As I fly off to France for a week in the Perigord Region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Périgord) I will leave you with a summer tart of roasted garlic and goats cheese, a few of the flavours I associate with France even though the original recipe comes from Ottolenghi in London.
I love this region of France, not surprising really since it is noted for its cuisine, more particularly its products relating to ducks and geese such as foie gras as well as it being one of the truffle areas of France. We will be staying in a small chateau just outside Brantome with family and friends, funnily renting a chateau is the most economical way to stay in this region and of course the most novel.
Not only is Perigord great for cuisine, it is also steeped in history, from prehistoric cave painting sites to Roman ruins and of course hundreds of castles perched on hillsides and along the meandering rivers which I hope to show you once we return.
300g short crust pastry
100g goats feta cheese
3 bulbs garlic
100ml creme fresh
100ml single cream
2 free range eggs
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & black pepper to season
Pre heat oven to 170C and grease and flour a 22cm looses bottom tart tin.
Roll pastry out thinly to fit tart tin and cut off excess pastry.
Cover pastry case with a sheet of greaseproof paper and then fill with baking beans (use any dried beans).
Bake pastry case for 15 minutes and then remove beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
Place garlic bulbs on a tray and bake for 15 minutes or until soft but not shrunken.
Separate and peel the cloves once cool.
Place cloves in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil over a low heat and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the sugar, balsamic and herbs and stir through the cloves of garlic until the balsamic has been absorbed.
Crumble the feta cheese over the base of the tart case and distribute the garlic cloves and herbs over also.
Whisk together the eggs, cream and creme fresh and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the tart case.
Bake the tart for 25 minutes or until the egg is slightly puffed, set and golden.
Serve warm or cold.
Surprise! I have decided to make something savoury, well there is fruit hidden in there too and it is classed as baking! Anyone would think I lived on desserts alone…almost!
I am fortunate to travel back and forth to Sydney frequently with my job and my first stop (after work of course) is the supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher and fishmonger to see what produce they have that I can’t buy in NZ. I have bought many kitchen gadgets back with me but I think it is the fresh produce that I bring through immigration that receives some funny looks. Although we have beautiful fresh produce in NZ we don’t have access to as many European products and what we do get usually costs 4 time the price. Being European I always crave the French and Italian cheese and this is what I always bring back from my trips to Sydney. Most people buy duty free but I buy food produce! This trip I brought back gorgonzola cheese, which since it is vacuum packed and from Italy NZ quarantine will allow it into the country, they are pretty strict with their rules but for good reasons. It’s hard to believe that the identical brand and quantity in Australia can cost $5 when in NZ it costs $19, so perhaps you can understand my reason! I would never dream of making a tart with a 150g of cheese that cost $19! particularly one I was experimenting with.
So here is the recipe for my little luxury made from Italian made cheese, bought in Australia and imported by hand to New Zealand!
- 350g short pastry
- 150g gorgonzola cheese
- 2 pears, slice and cored
- 4 eggs
- 400ml milk
- salt & pepper
- Flour an 26cm loose bottom tart tin and place onto a baking tray for stability when putting into the oven.
- Heat oven to 160 degrees centigrade.
- Roll out short crust pasty to fit bottom and sides of tart tin and place in tin.
- Whisk together eggs and milk and season with salt & pepper.
- Slice gorgonzola cheese
- Layer base of tart with pears and slices of cheese, fanning them around the base to form a nice circle pattern.
- Gently pour the egg & milk mixture over the pears and cheese.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the mixture puffs up like a souffle (it will shrink down again when cooled) and is golden brown. Test the texture with you fingers to see that the egg is set before removing from the oven.
- Serve warm with salad.