Poached Salmon, Soured Cream and Dill Tart
I'm turning savoury today, as I wanted to put into practice again the things I learnt at Eckington Manor back in March (see my post about it here). I made this last week when the weather was still vaguely summery, so a tart chock full of poached salmon, with a sour cream, dill and paprika filling seemed like a good idea. It was perfect for lunch on the day that I made it, as the sun was shining, the air warm and all seemed well with the world.
The pastry was crisp and buttery, and the filling delicate, as there was no cheese giving it heaviness. It took me a little longer to put together than I'd originally anticipated, as I wanted to poach the salmon first and allow it to cool, before making the rest of the tart. All together, with chilling time for the pastry as well, it probably took around two hours to get to the stage where the finished tart was sitting on the table. It was well worth it though!
Two salmon fillets, 240g in total
5 black peppercorns
sprinkle of salt
sprig of fresh parsley
two strips of lemon peel
one bay leaf
Check the salmon for bones and remove. Place the salmon with the remaining ingredients into a small frying pan. Pour over some boiling water to just cover the fish. Bring to a simmer and allow to gently poach for 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked (this depends on the thickness/size of the fillets - mine above took just about 10).
Gently remove from the water and drain, on some kitchen paper, allowing to cool. I used the kitchen paper as I wanted to make sure that as much of the water as possible came away, so the filling wouldn't be too soggy later. Once cooled, remove and skin from the fish and flake into bite sized pieces.
Savoury Shortcrust Pastry
(makes plenty for a 6 inch flan ring / 4 servings)
200g plain flour
100g butter, chilled and cut into small dice
60g iced water
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the chilled butter. Rub the butter in, using the tips of your fingers, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter left. Add the chilled water and mix in until the dough comes together. Try to do this as briefly as possible, otherwise you may overwork the pastry, causing it to be tough when cooked.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a round, again handling it as little as possible. Wrap in cling film and chill for 10 minutes in the fridge. The pastry can be used in other recipes of course, such as my delicious Chorizo, Feta and Butternut Squash Tart.
Poached Salmon, Soured Cream and Dill Tart
shortcrust pastry, made up as above
a little beaten egg
240g poached salmon
120ml (1/2 cup) soured cream
1 tblspn milk
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 tspn chopped fresh dill
1/4 tspn paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
First, preheat the oven to 140 Fan / 160 conventional / 325 F / Gas 3. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and lightly grease the inside of a 15cm (6 inch) flan ring (or use a same size tart pan).
Remove the pastry from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a depth of about 1/4 inch, and line the flan ring. Pinch the pastry gently so that the edge rises above the level of the tin. This will allow for some shrinkage when it cooks.
Prick the base to stop it bubbling up while it cooks, and then line the pastry with two sheets of cling film and baking beans - bring the edges of the cling film up over the beans to form a small parcel you can easily lift out. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the base looks dry and feels it to the touch (you will need to lift the beans up and have a look - if it still looks uncooked in places, just replace the beans and give it a few more minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven, remove the beans and cling film, and brush the base and insides with a little beaten egg. Return to the oven for 2 minutes until the egg looks shiny. The egg will form a seal on the pastry to prevent it going soggy when the filling is added. Once ready, you can carefully trim the edge of the tart shell to level it
To make up the filling, place the eggs, soured cream, milk, paprika and salt and pepper into a jug and mix well. Chop the dill finely, and add that to the soured cream and egg mix.
Layer the salmon in the base of the tart. Add the filling slowly, so that you do not go above the edges of the pastry, or the tart will leak and go soggy. I did this in two layers, so that I could make sure it was as full as possible. I then added a sprig of dill to the top for decoration.
Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes until golden and puffed. Serve warm.
This would be lovely for a summer lunch and, as you can leave to cool a little once it is out of the oven, is great if you have tardy guests.
As Dill is included in the tart filling, and Parsley and Bay in the poaching liquid for the salmon, I'm submitting this recipe to the Herbs on Saturday challenge for June, hosted by the amazing Karen at Lavender and Lovage. The closing date this month is 30th June, after which Karen will prepare a round up of the herbilicious entries. Why don't you pop over and have a look?