perfect winter tart
These are my favourite flavours of winter – Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, and blue cheese. For me, this is the perfect combination, especially when encased in a herby shortcrust pastry case. My winter tart recipe is the perfect way to use up your Christmas leftovers, as well as making a delicious main for vegetarian guests.
The Delicate Diner is Samantha Mattocks, MasterChef contestant and co-owner of nourish. Founded in 2016, The Delicate Diner is a mixture of recipes, reviews, and interviews – all with a passion for local produce. Samantha undertakes pop ups and cooking demos throughout the year, so look out for her in 2023.
for the pastry 250g plain flour 125g butter, diced and kept colt Pinch of sea salt 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 2-4 tbsp water 1 egg, beaten
for the filling 200ml freshly ground nutmeg 80g Binham Blue cheese, diced salt & black pepper
First, make the pastry by putting the flour and butter into a bowl and mixing together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the salt and thyme leaves and mix together. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, bringing the mixture together until it comes into a ball.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take a shallow 21cm loose bottomed tart tin and grease/flour it. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface and then line the tin with the herby pastry. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
When you are ready, pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Line the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans. Brush the case with the beaten egg and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the shell is lightly golden,
While the shell is cooking, prepare your filling: heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the leeks. Cook the leeks until they begin to caramelise, then add the sprouts and cook for a few minutes. Then add the chestnuts, dried herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, cream and eggs, then season with pepper and add some grated nutmeg. Do not add salt as the blue cheese will do this for you.
When the pastry shell is cooked, reduce the temperature to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Spoon in the sprout and chestnut mixture, top with the blue cheese, and then pour in the cream and milk mixture until just full.
Put into the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the liquid has set and the vegetables are cooked. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes, then serve.