Two Choux TartPosted: September 20, 2016
Still on a French theme, but from a different source than the one I had planned.
This is an adaptation, albeit very slight, of a recipe by Madeleine Kamman in her gastronomic memoir, When French Women Cook. Aside from the originality of the recipes, each has a wine recommendation – how fab is that?
Wandering through the Fresh section of the supermarket, (the orange one, in case anyone’s curious) I was reminded of this recipe when I spotted some baby Brussels Sprouts – endearingly cute, grape-sized morsels. Now I know they’re not everyone’s favourite, but this recipe might turn even the most vehement opponent.
You don’t have to use mini ones at all, of course – full-sized are fine – but the mini ones have a charm ( much needed in certain circles, when Brussel Sprouts are mentioned). You could also make this with broccoli instead of sprouts, but I’d urge you to try it as is, just once.
I’ve made four, individually-sized tarts, but you can make a large one and bake for just 10 more minutes.
They make for a lovely light lunch, but can also serve as a side dish.
NB: Don’t eat these hot from the oven. The flavours are distinctive, but delicate. Allow the tart(s) to cool to just warm before serving.
Two Choux Tart
225g plain flour
60g cornflour or rice flour
ice cold water
- Put the flours and butter into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- With the machine running, gradually add the cold water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Tip the mixture onto a floured surface, knead smooth.
- Divide the pastry into 4 and roll out thinly (5mm). Grease and line four individual tart tins with the pastry. Alternatively, line one large (20-24cm) tart tin.
- Leave the excess pastry overhanging the edges of the tin(s), cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until required.
1 small cauliflower
500g baby Brussels sprouts
salt and pepper
30g plain flour
225ml vegetable blanching water
100ml low fat crème fraiche
freshly grated nutmeg
160g ham, diced small (8mm)
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
- Remove the outer leaves of the sprouts and trim the stalk.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil.
- Cook the sprouts and cauliflower for 4 minutes.
- Drain, retaining the cooking liquid.
- Melt 20g butter in the pan and add the drained vegetables, salt and pepper.
- Toss gently, cover and cook over medium heat for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and allow any liquid to evaporate.
- Remove the vegetables and set aside to cool.
- In the same pan, melt the rest of the butter.
- Add the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Gradually add 225ml of the vegetable cooking liquid and the milk.
- Whisk until smooth and thickened. Adjust seasoning and add a good grating of nutmeg.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Remove the pastry-lined tin(s) from the fridge, trim the excess pastry and crimp the edges.
- Arrange the cauliflower and sprouts in the pastry cases and scatter over the ham.
- Pour over the white sauce and allow to settle into the gaps.
- Spread a thin layer of crème fraiche over the top of the tart(s).
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is crisp. If the top seems to be browning too quickly, lightly cover with a sheet of baking parchment.
- Allow to cool until just warm before serving.