First I need to tell you, DON’T BE AFRAID OF PASTRY! I have the best recipe for you today and even if you have never had any success with pastry, this recipe will work. It takes no time and will save you so much money. This recipe came from David Lebovitz. It was given to him by Paule Caillat. Please take the time to try it and you’ll never look back. The pastry is not as firm as the traditional pastry but it is lovely and buttery.
For Father’s Day we walked to Old Logan Road and sat amongst the throngs of other families taking their dads out for breakfast. I love this little section of road in Brisbane. It has an eclectic mix of shops, cafés and restaurants. This time we stopped at The Baker’s Arms, I have often posted after visiting Pearl Cafe on the opposite side of the road, as they have a wonderful baker there.
The Baker’s Arms was great, lovely coffee and we ordered a spinach and feta tart that inspired me to bake these two tarts. I made a potato and leek tart and a caramelized onion and feta tart.
I hope you enjoyed celebrating Father’s day too.
Here is the recipe for you to try.
Caramelized Onion and Feta Tart
- Place olive oil and onions in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Crumble the feta cheese into small pieces.
- Mix together eggs and cream with whisk until well combined.
- Place onions and feta cheese into the baked pastry shell. Reserve some onions for the top of tart after baking.
- Pour egg mixture over onions and feta and then place into the oven at 180C until golden brown on top.
- Place a heaped spoon of caramelize onions on top and serve with salad.
The other tart was potato and leek.
If you want to try this, simply boil two of three potatoes until cooked but firm, then slice when cool. In a fry pan, sauté leaks with olive oil and butter until soft and browned. Place the potato and leeks into the pastry and pour egg mixture over.
French Pastry Dough
One 9 (23 cm) tart shell
Adapted from a recipe by Paule Caillat of Promenades Gourmandes
In France, I used type 65 organic flour, which is similar to American all-purpose flour. Paule says that her students report back, saying that the dough works beautifully with American butter, too. Small cracks in the dough are normal so I wouldn’t use this for a thin, custardy filling, although it works well filled with chocolate ganache and I would imagine it would be lovely filled with fresh berries resting on a base of pastry cream.
Do be careful with the hot bowl of butter. Not only will the butter spatter a bit when you add the flour, but it’s uncommon to have a very hot bowl on the counter and easy to simply give in the urge to grab it with your bare hands.
- 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour
Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).
1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.
5. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.
(Paule takes a fork and reinforces the dough to the sides, which I didn’t find necessary.)
6. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.
I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.
8. Let the shell cool before filling.
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