Thursday, April 29, 2010

Not to Go On and ON and ON about the Tart thing... but Pea, Ham and Sour Cream Tartlets

I hope I don't sound like a one trick pony, but after the walloping success of the fruit-full tart, I wanted to attempt a savory tart. Boy am I ever glad I did. This one strikes a major high on the yum scale, and while I may not quite be a pastry chef yet, I can say that my pastry wasn't bad!! Or perhaps it was elevated by the brilliance of the filing.

generous 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 1/2 ounces (75 gms) cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
cold water

scant 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely choped
3 1/2 ounces (100 gms) cooked ham
1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
salt and pepper

Grease 4 x 4 3/4" fluted, loose bottomed, tart pans. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Tip the misture into a large blow and add the Parmesan a a tiny bit of cold water - just enough to bring the dough together. Turn out onto a floured counter (or one of those fantastic silicone pastry mats). Roll each piece to fit the tart pans. Careflly fit each piece of dough in tis shell and pres gently to fit the pan. Trim the edges. Cut 6 pieces of parchment paper and fit a piece in each pan, fill with dried beans or pastry weights and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the tart shell blind for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Then remove the parchment paper and beans.

Meanwhile cook the peas for about a minute in hot water (don't over-do you want them to remain plump). Train. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the shallots and cook gently for 10 minutes, then add the ham and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Stir the sour cream and egg yolks together. Add the peas to the skillet, remove from head and stir in the sour cream and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper and divide between the tart shells. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the filling is set.

And while you're enjoying your tarts, might I also recommend a game of something fun, like our newest board game "Sequence"? (Or as we like to pretentiously say victoriously when we're about to score a point, "Sih-kwhanssssss".)

And, um, is it just me or does this hand look like it's intending to pull the rug right out from under my little feet???

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