Blue Cheese, watercress and artichoke tarts
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Blue Cheese, Watercress & Artichoke Tartlets

These Blue Cheese Watercress Artichoke Tarts combine some strong & classic flavours with rich, buttery pastry. Ideal for supper alongside a crisp green salad or made into mini tartlets for parties.
I make my pastry by hand but I won't cry if you decide to make the pastry in a food processor or substitute bought shortcrust.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetiser/ Nibble, Main Course, Savoury
Cuisine: Worldwide
Keyword: artichoke tart, cheese tart, quiche, savoury tart, watercress tart
Servings: 1 8 inch tart/ 4 individual tarts
Author: Jane Saunders

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 225 g/ 1¾ cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 115 g/ ½ cup unsalted butter (chilled) - cut into small cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tbsp ice cold water

Filling

  • 100 g/ 1 cup Blue cheese (stilton is great) - crumbled
  • 50 g/ 1 cup Watercress leaves - no stalks please
  • 2 Whole artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil (drained & chopped into smallish pieces)
  • 300 ml/ 1 1/4 cup Single cream (18% fat)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Put the flour, salt & butter into a large bowl and, using your fingertips, rub together until the mixture looks like sand/ breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of fat left in the bowl (don't forget to shake the bowl gently to check this)
  • Make a well in the centre and add the egg & water mixture. Use your hands to fold the dry ingredients into the egg mix, until just combined. Knead gently until a smooth consistency is attained. Press into a disc shape, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • On a floured surface, roll the pastry out to an even thickness of 3-4mm, then gently easy into the tart tin(s) and press into the base. Trim away the excess pastry and neaten up the pastry sides by pressing gently into the sides of the tin until the pastry sits just above the top of the tin. Prick the base with a fork. Cover in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/GM3
  • Remove the clingfilm and line the pastry case with tin foil, pressing lightly into the corners. Pour in some uncooked rice/ baking beans and bake (15 minutes for the 8 inch tart and 10 minutes for the smaller tarts). Remove the rice/ beans and the foil and cook for 5 more minutes
  • Turn the oven temperature up to 180°C/350°F/GM4
  • Mix together the filling ingredients (reserving 20g of the blue cheese). Divide the mix between the pastry cases and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake the 8 inch tart for 35-40, the 4inch tarts for 15-17 minutes and the small tarts for 12-15 minutes. When ready to take out of the oven they should be golden and set fairly firm with just a slight wobble
  • Serve either warm (allow to cool for 10 minutes) or at room temperature
  • These tarts can be stored in the refridgerator and reheated (170°C/135°F/GM3) for 10 minutes to re-crisp the pastry.

Notes

1.The ingredients listed are sufficient to make 1 large tart in an 8 inch tin or 4 individual tarts in 4 inch tins plus a couple of extra small tarts. It could also make 15-18 small tarts depending on the tins you use. 2.The filling quantity is generous - there may be some left over - but I didn't want to risk leaving the tarts half full by using the 1 egg version. Try folding left over filling into the mashed flesh of baked potatoes, piling back into the skins and baking (200°C/400°F/GM6) for around 15 minutes until set.