Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Oooh you tart! – easy midweek pastry

on July 1, 2011

I’m back, I’m back!  Glastonbury was amazing, and we ate surprisingly well (well is it really that much of a surprise with me?  And all my friends are foodies too).  We took our own bbq and meat, pre made salads, baked cakes and had loads of snacks!  And then when it ran out, we found some surprisingly good food stalls.   Of course, we didn’t go for the food, but I think for me, I have to be eating well to enjoy anything else!

And no, I’m not expecting you to make pastry.  Have no fear- they even sell pre rolled pastry in Aldi these days!  Or any other supermarket for that matter.  These are puff pastry tarts and you can get away with not making your own pastry without any fear of mother in laws (or anyone else for that matter) rolling their eyes at you for not doing it yourself.  No one in their right mind makes their own puff pastry!  And why would you when you can buy it in the supermarket.  It is not like pre-made pasta sauce or ready meals – it actually tastes nice, and unless you’re a pastry chef, you’d be hard pressed to get it better than the supermarket stuff.   Different matter with shortcrust pastry, but then I buy that too as my pastry tends to turn out like cardboard.  But I do get the eye rolls with that one.

And because the pastry is shop bought, these could not be quicker or simpler.  I made these whilst getting changed for my burlesque dance class – you can just throw all the ingredients on the pastry, shove in the oven, go do whatever you need to do, come back, remove from oven and eat before running out the house or whatever your plans are. And no, I’n not a burlesque dancer in my spare time – it’s just the new way to keep fit.

I did 2 kinds of tart, both from bbc good food.  I have previously made the mistake of not putting enough ingredients on the pastry and it just tasting of pastry and not much else, so I really overloaded these and they were significantly tastier for it. And as a result, the amount of ingredients supposedly for 8, actually only managed to fit on 5, which is why I then did 2 kinds!

They were: caramelised onion, feta, olive and pepper and ham, mozzarella and pepper

The original recipes can be found here

But of course, in my hands they didn’t stay like that.  In a bid to make it as flavoursome as possible, I also added a red pesto base to all of them.   And hubby wanted peppers on the onion & feta one, so they were added too.  The onion, feta, olive one takes slightly longer because you caramelise the onions in balsamic vinegar first so if you’re very pressed for time, go with the other one.

Onion, feta, olive and pepper tart

Serves 4 (ish)

  • 375g pre made (and rolled if you can get it) puff pastry
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp red pesto (or green or whatever)
  • olives, pitted and halved
  • 5 pieces roasted bell peppers from a jar
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Pre heat the oven to 22o degrees celsius.  Unroll the pastry (or roll if not pre rolled) onto a baking tray.
  2. Fry the onions in the oil on a medium heat until golden.  Then add the balsamic vinegar and sugar, stir well to coat and simmer to reduce until thick and syrupy (you dont’ want too much juice)
  3. Cut your pastry into 4 rectangles (I did 8 as it fit on the baking tray better), and score a line in the pastry about 1cm from the edge around the sides.
  4. Place a 1 tbsp dollop of pesto in the middle of each square and spread around (within the scored area) evenly.  Top with a dollop of onions, pepper strips, olives and finally the feta.
  5. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden.
  6. Serve and eat immediately with huge satisfaction.

Ham, mozzarella and pepper tarts

Serves 4 (ish)

  • 375g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp red pesto (or green or anything else)
  • 4 slices of ham, torn (I used proscuitto)
  • 4 pieces of roasted bell pepper from a jar, sliced
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, torn
  1. Pre heat the oven to 22o degrees celsius.  Roll out the pastry onto a roasting tray
  2. Cut into 4 equal parts and score a line 1 cm from the edge around the sides.
  3. Put a dollop of pesto in the middle of each square and spread around within the scored area.
  4. Add the ham and pepper strips, topped with bits of mozzarella.
  5. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden.
  6. Remove from oven and serve immediately, perhaps with a green salad on the side.

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