The origins of this tart can be traced back to the timeless Quiche Lorraine from the Lorraine region of France – an open top pie with bacon filled with an egg and cream custard.
What I put in my tart depends on my mood and the ingredients available in my kitchen. That’s the beauty of the savoury tart; you can choose to fill it with any combinations you fancy.
One of my favourite combinations is to fill my tart with bratwurst sausages, parboiled potatoes, bacon with onions and mushrooms. This is also a family favourite as there’s something for everyone. Or how about a goats cheese and leek tart or an anchovies and caramelised onions tart?
When I crave for a simple tart, I go back to basic with bacon, onions, gruyere cheese. I find that adding sautéed diced onions help to keep the filling of the tart moist so it’s almost, always a staple in my tart.
For the tart base, I have adapted the recipe based on Bourke Street Bakery’s. This tart base is buttery, crusty and flaky all at the same time. I’ve spent a year in Sydney and Bourke Street Bakery at Surry Hills is one of my favourite places for breakfasts, teas or takeaways. I love their artisan spelt sourdough loaves, their vanilla brulee tarts, and their array of savoury tarts. On this particular Saturday, J and I were intending to head out for a picnic in the gardens. We had a simple menu in mind – savoury tart on a bed of salad greens, chips and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Our salad is a simple one – grilled asparagus on a bed of arugula, cherry tomatoes, slices of Parmesan cheese, an unfussy vinaigrette dressing. Just as we were assembling the salad, the skies frowned upon us and it began to pour. What a downer!
Pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry)
adapted from Bourke Street Bakery, the ultimate baking companion
Makes enough pastry for a 10 inch tart and 4 medium tartlettes
200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes,chilled
60ml water, chilled
330g plain flour, sifted and chilled
- Stir to combine vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Place chopped butter into bowl of chilled flour and salt. Use the tips of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. Work quickly to combine.
- Slowly add in water, vinegar, sugar mixture, a little at a time. Use your palm to smear the mixture. Stop adding the liquid once the dough comes together.
- Flatten the dough into a flat disk and wrap the disc in cling wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge for about 15 minutes before you roll it. Dust your table and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out and remember to turn the dough 45 degrees and roll it out again until you have about 3mm thickness.
- Transfer the dough over your tart tin and gently press the dough to the edge of the tart rim. Let the pastry rest in the tart tin in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes prior to baking.
2 whole eggs
150ml fresh cream
150ml whole milk
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
smoked bacon, diced
a whole yellow onion, diced
Gruyere cheese, grated/sliced
- Sauté bacon and onions.
- Whisk eggs, cream, milk together then add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Layer breadcrumbs thinly over the base of the tart. Place bacon and onions (and/or other ingredients into the tart base), place gruyere cheese evenly over the ingredients, pour the egg mixture over
- Bake at 180 degrees for about 30-35 minutes for the large tart and 25 minutes for the smaller tartlettes, or until custard is just set and cheese is starting to colour.
- Allow tarts to cool a little before removing from the tart tins and serving.
- Serve with a side of salad like I’ve done.