Corleggy Cheese and Tomato Tart

Pastry, oh and I have only met a few times in my life, but I'd like to meet you more. I used to be a little bit scared of you, because you can be unpredictable, erratic and prone to mood swings. Though the more I meet you, the more I like you and even though I can buy you ready made -I love you when you do behave and we work together, towards an end goal -my stomach.  I like you in this recipe - a very simple blue cheese and tomato tart, you were a team player in the trio and it was a win win situation. Dear pastry I promise to always be your friend -if you promise to be mine.....

  • Begin by making the pastry, if you don't have a food processor you need to be careful about the dough getting too warm when you're making it, to help avoid this you can chill everything ahead of time.
  • Sieve a cup of plain flour into a large bowl and pop into the fridge with two knives.
  • Measure out 3 tbsp of water into a jug and put in fridge along with 1/3 cup chilled butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • When everything has had time to chill (20/30 mins) you can begin adding the butter into the flour holding the two knives together and using these to 'cut the butter in' -eventually the mixture will resemble chunky breadcrumbs, you may have to use your fingers to rub together the butter & flour a little towards the end.
  • If using a food processor the warming is not such an issue -whizz up the flour and chilled butter, until the 'breadcrumbs' form, do the next step by hand.
  • Next start adding the cold water bit by bit with a fork, trying not to over work the dough, the mixture should start 'coming together' and you will have to use your hand to complete this process.
  • Once you have your ball of dough -wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
  • When you're ready, turn your oven on to 180'C/Gas 6, next flour a work surface, pat your dough down gently and start rolling, make sure your re-flour the underneath as you go or your dough could end up sticking, also flour your pin if you need to.

  • Grease your tart dish and have it beside you, so you can check the dough size as you go. When it's big enough (with a little extra width) lift gently and place over the tart dish or roll it up on your pin and then unroll over the dish.
  • Prick the base a little with a fork and blind bake to cook the crust and prevent the pastry going soggy once the filling goes in. To do this, place parchment over the base, cover with dried beans or rice and bake for 20 mins 
  • Remove from oven, brush the pastry with some beaten egg and return to oven for 1 minute, repeat. This will ensure that the base is cooked through and water proof.
  • While your base is being blind baked you can get your filling ready, the recipe I saw was for Roquefort cheese but I was at the farmers market and wanted to use something Irish -so I got a hunk (185g-ish) of Corleggy mildly blue cheese. Slice up your cheese into thinnish slices place them around the pastry shell, scatter over about a tbsp of fresh thyme and lots of cracked black pepper. 
  • Thickly slice enough vine tomatos to cover the tart -please use good tomatos -nothing pale and scentless!
  • Pop your tart into the oven and bake for 15/20 mins, allow to cool for about 10 mins before serving. we had ours with a sorrel leaf salad.