Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sorrel, Bacon & Red Onion Tart

Our sorrel plant in the herb garden has suddenly gone mad, and faced with an explosion of the stuff I've been looking around for ways to use it. Sorrel is a tangy, lemony herb which works well with similarly strong flavours such as salmon, omelettes or goats cheese. It also tastes delicious as an accompaniment to bacon, as demonstrated in this great creamy savoury tart. Sorrel is known for its purgative and detoxifying properties, so it's just as healthy as it is tasty. The reason I photographed only two slices of the tart was that it was so good we'd already eaten the rest...

Adapted from the one for Sorrel Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis in her fab book The Art of The Tart. Buy the book on Amazon here 

Serves 8

1 egg, beaten, for pastry
225g ready made shortcrust pastry
6 rashers streaky bacon
200g sorrel, leaves only, washed and stemmed
200g red onions, finely sliced
50g unsalted butter
250ml double cream
2 eggs, plus 1 and a half egg yolks
salt and pepper

1. Turn the oven to 190C (170C fans).  Line a 20cm tart tin with the ready made rolled pastry. Cover the base and sides of the pastry case with baking paper, and then fill the base with ceramic baking beans (or dried beans if easier). Bake blind in the oven for about 15 minutes until the pastry is set.

2. Remove the baking beans and paper, prick all over the base with a fork and bake for another 5 minutes until the pastry is sandy to touch. Then take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, before brushing with beaten egg.

3. Cut the bacon rashers into quarters. Heat a little oil in a frying pan before adding the bacon pieces. Fry gently until the bacon is cooked but not crispy. Then take off the heat and place the bacon on kitchen roll to get rid of any excess oil. Scatter the bacon pieces over the base of the pastry case.

4. Boil the sorrel in salted water for a few minutes until the sorrel has turned a grey colour, then remove from the water and sieve.

5. At the same time, in a large pan gently saute the chopped red onions over a low heat with 25g of the butter, stirring now and then and covering with a lid. It will take about 25-30 minutes for the onions to be translucent.

6. Heat the sorrel in another pan with the rest of the butter, again over a low heat for about 20 minutes until the greens are wilted. Be careful not to overheat or burn the sorrel or the onions.

7. When both sorrel and onions are ready, mix them together in a large bowl and leave to cool.

8. Meanwhile, season the double cream and beat in the eggs and egg yolks. Add this to the sorrel and onion mixture and stir gently until combined.

9. Pour the filling over the bacon pieces into the pastry case. Bear in mind that you may have a bit of mixture left over depending on the size of your tart tin. Bake in the oven for about 35-45 minutes until a pale golden colour.

10. When baked, leave the tart to cool in it's tin for 10 minutes before taking it out and serving it with green and tomato salads.

This tart was idly baked to the sounds of Grinderman's album Grinderman 2