This classic vegetable tart recipe combines fresh and colourful vegetables, a creamy filling and a delicious sauce that makes for a splendid supper to enjoy outside on a warm summer evening!

Vegetable Tart

quiche and pesto1

Serves 4 – 6
Level of difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 35 to 40 minutes

Ingredients
Butter for greasing
1 sheet of puff pastry
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings
2 peppers, de-seeded and cut into small cubes
1 head of broccoli, divided into small florets
1 large tomato, cut into quarters, remove seeds and dice the flesh or 7 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
300g of single cream
3 medium eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese

For the sauce:
2 garlic cloves
50g pine nuts
200g of basil
150g grated Manchego cheese
200ml of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Green salad to serve

Preparation:
Lightly grease a 16cm springform flan tin and line with the pastry.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, onions, peppers and broccoli and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until they are just starting to soften. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl and allow to cool
Add the tomatoes, cream and eggs and mix all together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then spread the mixture over the pastry.
Sprinkle with Manchego cheese and place the tart in the oven at 195˚C for 25-30 minutes.
To make the sauce, lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan and then place in a food processor with the garlic, basil and Manchego cheese. Continue to blend whilst slowly adding the olive oil until smooth. Place the sauce in a small bowl to serve with the tart.

Nutritional information per serving (based on 6 servings) with 1 tbsp of sauce

Per serving
% GDA
573cals
29
8g sugar
9
43g fat
62
17g sat fat
84
0.9g salt

What are your favourite tart or flan recipes?

If you want to ring the changes I have a beautiful fruit tart recipe for you.

Vegetable Tart Recipe

Almond Brittle Cake recipe

Calories per serving: 623 Fat per serving: 35.5g

Serves 12

Rachel Allen Almond Brittle Cake

Ingredients

150g (5oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g (3oz) ground almonds
2 tsp milk

Almond Brittle
vegetable oil, for greasing
100g (4oz) granulated sugar
100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned)

Almond Butter Icing
225g (8oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
450g (1lb) icing sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5.

Grease the cake tins with a little Kerrygold butter and line the bases with baking paper or greaseproof paper.

Beat the Kerrygold butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.

Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add to the creamed mixture with the ground almonds.

Stir in the milk.

Divide equally between the prepared tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

While the cakes are cooking, make the almond brittle.

First, grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil.

Next, combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan.

Put over a medium-low heat until the sugar turns caramel colour, carefully rotating the pan until the almonds are covered – this will only take a few minutes.

Very carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Cool. (TAKE GREAT CARE when making caramel and NEVER touch it – it reaches an extremely high temperature. Keep a watchful eye on the pan as you make it – don’t just leave it to cook).

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, beat the Kerrygold butter until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, using a hand-held electric mixer.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Chop half the cooled almond brittle finely and stir it into the icing.

To assemble, spilt each cake in half. Spread with butter icing, then sandwich the two cakes together with more icing. Spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides of the cake.

Break off some shards of almond brittle and arrange on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Alternative: Use whole unskinned hazelnuts instead of almonds for the brittle.

Do you have a favourite almond recipe to share?

My Random Musings
Twin Mummy and Daddy

Caramelised red onion and sherry Christmas gravy recipe

gravy

Perfect gravy

You will need:

100ml sherry

500ml good quality liquid chicken stock

3 tbsp The English Provender Co. Caramelised Red Onion Chutney

Method:

Place the sherry in a pan and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the stock and reduce on a high heat until you are left with about 100ml. Stir in the chutney and serve.

How do you make gravy?

As with most things food-related I have strong memories of my mother’s kitchen. If you had asked her what the secret to her luscious gravy was, she would have said to always use meat juices and add plenty of onions. Gravy was thick and thin gravy was a novelty when I grew up and went out and about.

I confess that I tend to take the easy option if I am making gravy and use gravy powder. I do add in the meat juices and these days frozen diced onions make everything a lot easier.

Him Indoors is very creative when it comes to sauces and gravy. He likes to experiment. This means sometimes you are in for a real treat and sometimes it does not quite work.

Gravy Recipe With Red Onions And Sherry

Roast Poussin recipe

If you are not planning a large Christmas lunch, why not opt instead for a special dinner for two; serve these quick to roast baby chickens with delicious blackberry sauce flavoured with orange rind, winter spices and just a hint of redcurrant jelly.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

2 x 500g (1lb 2oz) baby poussin
40g (11/2oz) butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 fresh bay leaves
4 rashers streaky bacon
175g (6oz) shallots, peeled, halved if large
450g (1lb) baby new potatoes, washed
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Sauce
½ orange
6 tbsp red wine
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Large pinch ground ginger
Large pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
100g (4oz) small blackberries
Watercress or rocket salad to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Rinse each poussin inside and out with cold water, drain well then put in a roasting tin. Dot the breast of each with the butter then season with salt and pepper and put 2 bay leaves and 2 rashers of bacon on the top of each. Loosely cover the poussin with foil folding down over the sides. Add the shallots, potatoes and remaining bay leaves to the roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
2 Roast for 45 minutes, removing the foil and bacon from the poussin for the last 20 minutes and turning the potatoes and shallots and basting with the pan juices until golden. To test the poussin are ready, insert a small sharp knife or skewer through the thickest part of the leg into the breast, the juices will run clear when ready.
3 Transfer the poussin and vegetables to a serving plate, cover with foil and keep hot in the turned off oven, allowing the poussin to rest while you make the sauce.
4 To make the sauce, pare the rind from the half the orange with a vegetable peeler then cut into very thin shreds. Squeeze the juice, add both to a small saucepan with the red wine, water and redcurrant jelly. Add the spices, sugar, mustard and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then cook over a medium heat, stirring until syrupy. Add the blackberries and simmer gently for 3 minutes until the berries are just cooked.
5 Serve the sauce with the roasted poussin, potatoes and shallots and a side dish of watercress or rocket salad.

Tips
– Pare the rind from the half the orange with a vegetable peeler before you cut it, that way it is easier to do then squeeze it afterwards.
– Rather than cooking two poussin, you could also give a small everyday chicken the five star treatment. Roast with butter, bay leaves and bacon for the timings given on the wrapper, then add the potatoes, shallots, bay and olive oil for the last 45 minutes of cooking, removing the foil 20 minutes or so before it is ready so that the skin can brown. Serve with the warm blackberry Cumberland sauce and salad as above.

Roast Poussin Recipe

Stained glass cookies recipe

Stained Glass Cookies

Delicious buttery biscuits, with edible sweetie stained glass. These edible decorations make the perfect gift and are ideal for hanging on the tree. Great for getting the kids involved, all you need are clean hands and a little imagination!

A magical treat to enjoy at Christmas.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes 10-15 biscuits

Ingredients

220g butter, softened
100g Whitworths for Baking Light Soft Brown Sugar
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon
50g Whitworths for Baking Crunchy Demerara Sugar
A selection of fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in different colours
To decorate
50g Whitworths for Baking Super Fine Icing Sugar
1 – 2 tblsp of lemon juice
Coloured ribbon (narrow)

Christmas-Stained-Glass-Cookies-Recipe

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Separate the boiled sweets into colours, place in separate plastic food bags and use a rolling pin to crush into pieces approximately 1cm and set aside.
3. Beat the butter and Whitworths for Baking Light Soft Brown Sugar in a bowl, until pale and creamy. Sift the flour and spice into the mixture; add enough milk to make a workable dough. Use your hands to make a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Sprinkle a little flour over the work surface, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll it out so it is ½ cm thick. Using biscuit cutters, cut out Christmas shapes. Using smaller pastry cutters, cut out the middle of each biscuit and sprinkle the biscuits with a little Whitworths for Baking Crunchy Demerara Sugar.
5. Carefully transfer the cookies to the baking trays with a fish slice. Place one or two pieces of sweet into the middle of each biscuit whole.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the biscuits are just golden. Cool on the trays for a minute before making a small hole near the top of each biscuit with a skewer, so you can thread ribbon through the holes when they are cool.
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
8. Mix the Whitworths for Baking Icing Sugar with a little lemon juice or water to make a thick pipeable icing. Make a cone out of greaseproof paper, cut a small hole in the tip and decorate the biscuits with the icing.
9. When the icing is dry the biscuits are ready to hand on the tree!

Top Tip

Make sure the sweets have set hard before removing from the trays.

Do you have special Christmas recipes that you cook every year?

 

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