i've finally got the chance to sit down in front of the pooter and blog a bit. we've been so busy, and i've been disheartened because the photos i wanted to upload have remained stubbornly stuck inside the camera thanks to our uncooperative usb hub. but: ta da! i managed to extract them this morning.
last sunday we had our friends d + a, and their kiddies over for brunch. again, we hadn't seen them since last summer, so we had lots to catch up on. d has a new post as professor at a new university in cornwall, so they will be upping stakes and moving the whole family, a big, big change for them.
in the last few weeks we have seen more friends than we have all winter! this is because ppl literally go into hibernation during winter, esp. if they have kids. when it gets dark at 4pm you just don't feel like dragging the kids out into the snow for dinner at someone's house. the recent gorgeous weather has had us all emerging, blinking, into the sunlight.
among other things, i made bill granger's tomato and ricotta tart, with a few adjustments. it was so delicious! want the recipe? read further....
tomato and ricotta tart, with memories of bill
rough puff pastry:
200 butter, frozen
1/2 tsp salt
juice of a lemon*
* a note re. the pastry: bill's recipe just calls for 2Tb chilled water. i found i needed much more than this to bind the pastry. i also like to use lemon juice instead of just water - it gives a tenderer crust and gives the pastry a much better flavour.
- grate the frozen butter into the flour and salt (thanks to anyresemblance for this great tip)
- add the lemon juice and the chilled water 1 Tb at a time, until it resembles large breadcrumbs. go slow with the water, you don't want to add too much.
- when it begins to come together into big clumps, bring together with your hands and flatten into a disc.
- wrap in clingfilm and place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
- take pastry out of fridge.
- scatter bench, pastry and rolling pin with flour.
- roll pastry out into a rectangle.
- fold long ends up to meet.
- turn 1/4, roll out again, and fold ends up to meet.
- repeat this movement a few times....5 or 10 or whatever. not too many - don't let the pastry get to sticky. if it gets sticky, flour it lightly.
- fold into a neat little rectangle and refrigerate, at least a couple of hours. i usually make the pastry up to this step the night before.
- take out pastry, let warm up a little (esp. if refrigerated overnight).
- flour bench, pastry, pin.
- roll out to fit yr (greased) tart tin. the pastry should be beautfully smooth and supple. i like to roll it quite thin, so there is usally lots left-over for another day (freezeable) or for little tarts/pastries
- leave the edges hanging over the edge of the tin - you will fold them in over the filling later.
lots of cherry tomatoes, halved (enough to cover a tart) (*bill uses sliced normal tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes are much more satisfying!)
2 cups of ricotta
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup of natural yoghurt (*bill's recipe calls for cream, but really, with all that butter int he pastry, do you really need more fat in the recipe? besides, yoghurt gives it a welcome tartness)
salt n pepper
basil (*bill's recipe uses rocket, but i prefer basil)
1 egg yolk for glazing
- mix together ricotta, eggs, yoghurt, parmesan. add salt and pepper to taste.
- pour into tart shell.
- place cherry tomatoes cut side up in mixture.
- strew with freshly torn basil leaves.
- sprinkle with salt and a good grinding of pepper.
- fold the edges of the pastry over the outer edges of the filling.
- brush pastry with egg yolk
- bake at 200°c for 35 - 40 mins or until golden.
this tart is incredibly rich but very good. perfect brunch food.