Pea, bacon and basil tart

August 27th, 2011


A Saturday with nothing planned is pretty special. Today I got to stay in bed, brunch on Dan Lepard’s delicious potato cakes, the boy made me a proper coffee (on our pride and joy) and I read the Saturday papers. This tart was my task for the day. Jammed with fresh peas, basil and a little bacon – it makes a lovely summer lunch; especially with a tomato salad.

A lazy Saturday is perfect for pastry-making. First, make the pastry, then sit down for a bit while it rests. Roll the pastry, sit down and let it (and you) rest some more. Then bake blind, fill with tasty fillings and bake until puffed and golden-brown. Finally, eat, feeling extremely proud of yourself. Scared of making pastry? Don’t be. It’s ok if it shrinks a bit or you get holes, just patch ‘em up! It’s still going to taste so much better than the shop bought stuff. (Need more inspiration? I love this recent post from Joy the Baker.)

This recipes makes enough for a 23cm tart tin. (I baked mine in this tart tin and a couple of individual tart tin.)

For the pastry
300g flour
150g butter
For the filling
knob of butter
5 rashers bacon, finely chopped
300g peas
3 eggs
1 x 300ml tub double cream
½ bunch basil, shredded
50g cheese

  • To make the pastry, place the flour 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 in clumps.
  • Tip the pastry onto a floured work surface, knead lightly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Roll the pastry out thinly and use it to line your tart tin. Make sure you (carefully) press the pastry into base and side of the tin. If you’re worried about shrinkage, you can leave the overhang on the pastry and trim it once the pastry is cooked. Prick the bottom of the tart case with a fork.
  • Let it rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge and preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Scrunch up a large piece of greaseproof paper, unfurl it and use to line the tart tin. Fill with baking beans or rice. Bake the tart case for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and greaseproof and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan over a low heat and add the bacon. Cook the bacon slowly for a few minutes, or until the fat starts to render out, then increase the heat and fry until golden-brown.
  • Reduce the heat, add the peas and add about two tablespoons of water. Simmer for a few minutes, or until the peas are cooked. Season.
  • Whisk the eggs in a jug, whisk in the double cream and season. Stir in the basil and cheese.
  • Reduce the oven to 180C
  • Arrange the peas on the bottom of tart case and pour over the cream mixture. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden-brown and just set.

Freezing: To freeze the tart, let it cool once cooked, wrap in cling film and freeze. Reheat from frozen, in pre-heated oven, for 15-20 minutes.

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