Another beetroot and goats cheese tart

November 15th, 2010


We’re well and truly into winter now and so, the days of endless root vegetables ensue. Thankfully, this tart holds onto a little of summer while still being robust enough for winter nights. I’ve made a version of this before, but this time it’s a little more decadent, full to the brim with sweet beetroot and tangy goats’ cheese. All you need is a salad to go alongside, and I would go for a grated carrot version.

We recently harvested some beetroots that we’d planted as a little experiment. Keen to do them justice, I fried the stalks and leaves in plenty of butter with a hefty dose of garlic (they look and taste much like chard). Meanwhile, I boiled the beets until tender, peeled and sliced them. I tipped it all into the blind-baked polenta pastry case, crumbled over some goats’ cheese and poured over an eggy custard.

A few notes:

Be careful not to chop the top of the beetroot off with the stalks as all the colour will leach out when you cook them. It’s difficult to predict how long it will take to cook a beetroot, sometimes it can take over an hour, therefore I’m loath to turn the oven on for that length of time just for a couple of beets. If you happen to have the oven on anyway, chuck them in as they are much nicer roasted.

I’ve started making my pastry slightly differently these days. One, I always make it in a food processor, it keeps everything cold and the pastry is worked as little as possible. I also always roll it out before resting (i.e. as soon as it’s made), line the pastry case then let it rest. It’ so much easier to roll the pastry this way and again, you work the pastry a lot less.

2 beetroot, stalks attached
200g plain flour
50g polenta
150g very cold butter, cubed
ice cold water
knob of butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 eggs
200ml pot single cream
200g pot crème fraîche
100g mild goats cheese

  • Remove the stalks from the beetroot and set aside. Boil, or roast the beetroot until tender.
  • Once cooked, peel the beetroots and slice thinly.
  • Meanwhile to make the pastry, place the flour, polenta and butter into a food processor and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add two tablespoons of water and pulse for five seconds, continue to add the water, a tablespoon at a time and pulsing for five seconds until the pastry comes together as a ball. (Stop pulsing as soon as the pastry forms a ball, otherwise you will overwork the mixture.)
  • Tip the pastry onto a floured work surface, roll it out thinly and use it to line a 24cm tart tin. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Blind-bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and pale golden-brown.
  • Meanwhile, finely slice the pink stalks of the beetroot and tear of the leaves.
  • Fry the stalks and garlic in the butter for a few minutes, then add the leaves and fry for a few more minutes, until everything is cooked. Season well.
  • Whisk the eggs, crème fraîche and cream together in a jug. Season well.
  • Once the pastry case is cooked, strew the beetroots slices and cooked stalks across the bottom of the pastry case, crumble over the goats’ cheese, then pour over the custard.
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until set with a slight wobble in the middle.
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One Response to “Another beetroot and goats cheese tart”

  1. Becky says:

    These look beautiful

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