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Thursday, 3 November 2011

Aubergine, Leek & Bacon Tart

Its the end of our season for peppers & aubergines, although there are still some in the markets. It's time to find something new to do with them other than preserving them or making ratatouille! Its also leek season & boy are they stunners, almost as tall as me & very fragrant. I'm trying to hone my pastry making skills so I decided to make a tart using the leeks & the end of season veg. This tart was a very tasty success, after a very strange looking first effort.
Add whatever vegetables are in season at the time, I have added bacon & ham but it makes a stunning vegetarian pie & suits either lunch or dinner. Experiment with tastes &  enjoy.

220g Plain Flour
55g Butter, cold
55g Lard, cold
pinch Salt
3tbsp COLD Water aprox
In a large bowl sift flour with salt, cut the butter & lard into knobs & rub in with tips of fingers until like soft breadcrumbs. Add enough COLD water to form pastry into a soft dough ball. Turn onto floured surface & form into a flat round, cover in foil or cling film & rest in fridge for 30 minuets or more. Roll out the pastry on the floured surface till it is bigger than the tart or pie pan. butter or grease the pan & drape the pastry in. Fit it to your pan & fork holes on the bottom. Put in the fridge to chill while you heat the oven to 230c (210c fan). When ready blind bake the pastry case I line the base with foil & if I have them fill with beans, but without beans has been fine. Bake for 10 minuets then remove foil & bake a further 5 mins. Reduce oven temp to 180c (160c fan)
2 Leeks Sliced
1 large or 2 small Aubergines de seeded & sliced
1 Onion sliced
3 cloves Garlic crushed & chopped
2 Roasted Peppers sliced. You can use un roasted 1 red 1 green or other colours
2/3 large Mushrooms pealed & sliced
4 rashers streaky Bacon chopped. Leave out to make a vegetarian tart.
3/4 slices Ham chopped. Optional
3 Eggs lightly beaten
12 fl oz Milk full or semi skimmed (not skimmed)
5 oz hard Cheese finely grated
Feta cheese to crumble over. Optional
1 tbsp Flour
Ground black Pepper
pinch Ground rock/sea Salt
Spray a large pan with oil or frylight, Brown leeks & aubergine then add onion, garlic, peppers & mushrooms, Spray with more oil if needed. Stir till softened & browned. Add the bacon & ham, stir well, but don't cook too much.
While this is cooking beat eggs & milk with some salt & pepper in large jug or bowl. Grate cheese on very fine & mix with the flour.
When everything is ready. Combine the cheese into the milk & add the vegetables. Tip into the pastry case & level. This is where you can crumble some Cirene/feta if you like.
Bake in center of oven for 35 - 40 mins
Stand for 5 mins or so to allow it to set before serving.

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