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Beetroot and Goat’s cheese are a match made in culinary heaven and although I could take or leave beetroot when it’s been jarred and pickled to within an inch of it’s life, I really love it cooked-especially in this!
I made this tart for the first time to take to a friend’s birthday party, and whilst making something for the first time for public consumption is risky business, this turned out to be a risk worth taking. Not only was it all gone within minutes (which is the biggest compliment you can get when it comes to cooking) but I had several people asking for the recipe.
I found the original version of this recipe on Pinterest, but the method seemed to bypass all the things you could do to make the tart seriously tasty in favour of making it quick and easy, so I simply used the ingredients as a starting point and improvised from there on in.
I’m really chuffed with results, and as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t get much better than garlicky roasted beetroot, caramelised red onions and tangy goat’s cheese, all wrapped up in some herby, savoury pastry – YUM!
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
100g salted butter, chilled and diced
1tsp dried thyme
A pinch of salt and pepper
60ml cold water
For the filling:
500g cooked beetroot (you can buy 250g vacuum packed packs in Sainsburys)
120g firm Goat’s cheese
1 large red onion
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dried thyme
150ml creme fraiche (you could use double cream if you were feeling really crazy!)
1tsp of horseradish sauce
A sprinkling of ground nutmeg
Plenty of salt and pepper
A handful of grated Parmesan (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a loose bottomed flan tin.
2. Put the flour, butter, 1tsp of thyme and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper into a food processor and blitz until thoroughly combined and the mixture takes on the consistency of breadcrumbs.
3. Gradually add the water, little by little, until the pastry mixture starts to clump together. You don’t want it too wet, so you might not use all the water – it should just be coming away from the sides of the mixer.
4. Turn the pastry mixture onto a lightly floured surface, and gently form into a flat ‘slab’. Wrap this in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
5. Now you can get cracking on your filling! Finely slice the onions and scatter them in a large roasting tin. Unwrap and rinse the beetroot, then slice each one in half and arrange on top of the onions in the roasting tray.
6. Mix together the balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic and olive oil, and drizzle this over the beetroot and onion mixture. Sprinkle everything generously with salt, pepper, and plenty of thyme and put in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the onions are starting to caramelise.
7. By now your pastry should be well and truly chilled, so remove it from the fridge and roll out to about the thickness of a pound coin. Line your tart tin with pastry, prick the base all over with a fork, then pop back into the frige for another 15 minutes.
8. Your onions and beetroot should be nice and caramelised by now, so take them out of the oven and slice the beetroot into roughly 1cm thick slices. Don’t worry about being too precise! Set aside and give the onion mixture a good stir to make sure everything’s coated in those lovely garlicky, vinegary juices!
9. Take your pastry case out of the fridge and line with baking paper before filling with baking beads, or if you haven’t got any, some dry rice – basically anything that will weight it down and stop the base of your tart bubbling. Put in the oven for between 7-10 minutes, then take the tart out and remove the baking paper and baking beads. Put the tart back into the oven for another 5 minutes until dry and light golden.
10. Slice your goat’s cheese and start layering up your tart. Start with the onions, and spread them evenly across the base of the tart. Then layer on the beetroot slices – you’ll probably find you have enough to do a double layer. Finally arrange the goat’s cheese on top.
11. Finally, make your eggy filling by whisking the eggs, creme fraiche, nutmeg, thyme and salt and pepper until really well combined. Then simply pour the egg mixture over the tart, top with a sprinkling of parmesan if you fancy an extra cheesy kick, and place on the middle shelf of the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the middle of the tart is firm.
12. Remove from the oven and cool, then serve with loads of lovely salad, some buttered new potatoes and a glass of wine – lush!