I wanted to make a tart for our Melbourne Cup lunch at work, and decided to make something vegetarian so that everybody could have a taste. I made the pastry the day before and lined the pie dish with it. I then kept the pie dish in the fridge until I needed it.
250g plain flour
125g butter (or 100g dairy free spread), diced
pinch of salt
1. Mix the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Transfer to a large bowl and add the egg. Mix well with a spatula.
3. Add splashes of cold water until it binds together to form a nice round of dough.
4. Making sure that your hands are cold, pat the dough together and roll out on a floured surface. Line a pastry dish with the dough and hook it over the edge of the dish slightly (this will stop it from shrinking down in the oven). Wrap the whole dish in foil and store in the fridge until needed.
On the day that you are cooking the tart, bake the pastry case blind (use ceramic beads) for approx 10 – 15 minutes at 180 deg C. Once baked blind, gently press a rolling pin on the top edge to remove the excess pastry that was hooked over the sides.
You can use your imagination with the filling and include any veggies that you like, but I chose onion, mushroom and tomatoes.
ONIONS – Slice 1 large or 2 small onions (I used red onions), and fry them in a little olive oil. As they soften add a sprinkle of salt, a dash of balsamic vinegar (optional) and a little sugar (optional) to help them caramelise.
MUSHROOMS – Slice the mushrooms and cook them in a saucepan with a little salt and pepper and a teaspoon of dairy free spread or butter until they are just soft.
TOMATOES – I used cherry tomatoes halved and I cooked them – cut side down – in the onion pan just to concentrate some of the liquid in them. You can also add some chopped sun dried tomatoes to the tart. I seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper.
BASIL – tear or thinly slice some fresh basil leaves
SAUCE – 3 eggs whisked up with 280mls milk and some grated cheddar – I don’t know how much I used but it was probably enough to cover the surface of the tart. I mixed some cheese with the sauce and saved some to sprinkle on top.
Now arrange the onions, mushrooms and tomatoes in the tart, add some chopped basil, and pour the sauce over to fill the tart to the brim, Sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake in a preheated oven at 180-200 deg C for approx 25-30 minutes until the filling is set and golden.
Serve warm or chilled.