I had some bits left over from making oeufs-en-cocotte last week, and was struggling to concentrate on writing – so I thought i’d make some pastry to cheer myself up, and hopefully subsequently increase productivity. The flavour of tarragon goes wonderfully with nutty emmental cheese, ham and artichokes.
For the pastry
6oz plain flour
3oz cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
pinch of salt
For the filling
3 tablespoons double cream
3 tablespoons milk
1 dessertspoon Dijon mustard
Iberico Ham, 1-2 slices, torn up
several slices of Emmental, torn up
soft goats cheese, enough for a few blobs on top
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 artichoke hearts in oil, chopped into smallish bits
How I made it:
To make the pastry: place the flour in a bowl, with a good pinch of salt. Mix the butter with the flour by rubbing the bits of butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers. When you can shake the bowl, and no large bits of butter rise to the top and your mixture resembles breadcrumbs, pour in a little water and stir mixture with a metal spoon or knife. Keep adding water until you think it can be pulled together into a ball. It requires less water than you think. Form the mixture into a ball, wrap the pastry in cling film and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180 celsius.
Roll out the pastry and place into a buttered shallow ceramic oven dish that is roughly 6×8 inches. Bake ‘blind’ in the oven for 10-15 minutes, to partially cook the pastry. For this, place some ceramic baking beans on the pastry to stop it rising up, or if you don’t have any, some metal cutlery on greaseproof paper.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream and mustard with a fork and season well with salt. Stir in the tarragon. Pour mixture into the par-cooked pastry case. Scatter emmental, Iberico ham, goats cheese, and artichoke hearts over the top. Season with black pepper.
Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven when the filling has a golden colour and is lightly browned on top. Wait for it to cool then eat.
Watercress salad and white wine.
NB: If you have some pastry left over, you can freeze it.