Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tart with a Heart of Gold - Chorizo, Feta and Butternut Squash Tart


I'm the kind of person that is constantly thinking of flavour combinations, and how best I can use my favourite ingredients. Chorizo, squash and feta are three of my all time favourites, but I've never used them together. As soon as I knew that I was going to make this, and I could envisage the golden colours of the chorizo and butternut squash melding into deliciousness, the phrase popped into my head.

"In television history, the "tart with a heart of gold" has become an important archetype in serial drama and soap opera, especially in Britain. During the 1960s, the character of Elsie Tanner in British series Coronation Street set the mold for future characters such as Bet Lynch (also Coronation Street) and Kat Slater (EastEnders). Characters of this nature are often depicted as having tragic lives, but put on a front when in public to create the illusion of happiness. More often than not, these female characters are vital to their respective shows, and inevitably become some of the biggest stars in British Television" (from Wikipedia)

However, this particular tart has a hint of elegance about it. More Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman) than Elsie Tanner or Bet Lynch. I think it is the cool saltiness of the feta, against the sweetness of the squash, and the spicy chorizo. This is definitely one of my all time favourite flavour combinations. 


You may remember that I recently posted about the pastry course I went on at Eckington Manor. I didn't want to leave it too long without trying out what I was taught, so a tart using the shortcrust pastry method we used seemed like a good idea. As Mike is away at the moment, the chorizo, combined with butternut squash and feta, is an indulgence just for me.


I began by preparing the chorizo and butternut squash. Cutting each into similar sized chunks and dry frying the chorizo, while roasting the squash in some olive oil (seasoned with 1/2 tspn salt and 1/4 tspn black pepper). The squash took about 30 minutes at 190 (fan), turning half way through.

Chorizo fried until tinged golden brown and the oil has run
Roasted Butternut Squash - some thyme added just at the end of cooking
I used the method for shortcrust pastry I was taught on the course (200g plain flour, 100g butter, chilled water), and once I had brought the dough together, let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. I then lined a 15cm (6 inch) flan ring, and let that chill again in the fridge, before baking blind in a 150  degree (fan) oven. I used an egg wash to seal the pastry, baking for a further couple of minutes. All I can say is that I'm glad I used a deep flan ring, because the pastry still shrank  from the edge, despite me taking real care to follow the instructions given on the course (but I may not have left it to chill long enough after lining the ring). Anyhoo, the picture below shows what I mean.


Once baked, I added the filling, using about 80g chorizo, 80g squash and 60g feta (crumbled). I then made a simple mix whisking 2 eggs and 150ml of milk together (and then passed through a sieve to ensure no lumps), then adding a pinch of salt and pepper. I poured this over the filling, and returned to the oven (160 fan) to cook until the custard had set.


Once the tart had cooled for about 30 minutes, it held up well to cutting. The taste was fantastic - sweet, salty, spicy, with a crisp buttery pastry.


 

Some of the golden oil from the chorizo had  spread through the custard to help give that lovely golden colour I had imagined. The chunks of feta held up well. I was really pleased with it, and will definitely make it again.


It was perfect for lunch. I hope you enjoy it.

Susie

6 comments:

  1. Your tart looks amazingly tempting, I'd love a nice warm slice of this...I might try making it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura. Just had another piece for tea! If you do try it, I'd love to hear how you get on. :) x

      Delete
  2. YUM! Looks really appetizing !!I love the ingredients in this lovely tart. Sounds so yummy! Have a lovely day! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kit. I love the Ingredients on their own, but together they were really special. Glad you like it. You have a lovely day, too! :)

      Delete
  3. This looks so good. I love the variety of flavour combinations that the humble flan/tart/quiche (whatever you want to call it!) offers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks B, yes it is really good, and I do think that once you know how to make the pastry case, the variety of fillings you can use is endless :)

      Delete

I know it's a nuisance but I have had to reinstall 'captcha' due to spammers.

However, your comments are very much appreciated, so please leave a comment if you'd like. I'll respond as soon as I can :)