Spring Onion & Pea Tart with Vintage Cheddar

Spring Onion & Pea Tart with Vintage Cheddar

The delicate green colour of this rich tart is complemented by the deep savouriness of one of our favourite cheeses – Vintage Cheddar from Hawkridge Dairy in nearby Crediton. Serves 6.

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Ingredients

For the pastry:
200g Plain White Flour, plus extra for dusting
100g Unsalted Butter, cubed
50g Hawkridge Vintage Cheddar Cheese

For the filling:
100g Hawkridge Vintage Cheddar Cheese
25g Unsalted Butter
8-10 Spring Onions (depending on size), trimmed, washed and sliced finely
200g frozen or fresh Peas
150ml Whole Milk
3 large Greendale Free-Range Eggs
200g Crème Fraîche
Whole Nutmeg, for grating
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Method

First, make the pastry case by putting the flour and cubed butter into a food processor and blending until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Grate in the cheese and whizz again to combine, then add in two tablespoons of fridge-cold water and pulse to make a firm dough (if it seems a bit too dry and crumbly, slowly add a little more water until you have the right consistency).

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and tip the dough on to it. Knead the dough once or twice, then roll it out so that it is thin enough to line a 26cm diameter flan tin. Carefully lift the pastry into the flan tin and press it down gently - don’t worry about trimming any overhanging edges at this stage. Put the pastry into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. While it’s in the fridge, give the food processor bowl a wash (you will need it again in a moment) and pre-heat your oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6). When the pastry case has chilled, line it with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans (you can use actual dried beans, pulses or even rice here, as the baking parchment will stop them getting into the pastry). Put the pastry case into the hot oven for 10 minutes, then take it out and remove the parchment and baking beans. Put back into the oven for 10 more minutes, or until lightly brown, then take it back out and trim away any overhanging pastry around the edges.

Next, lower the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4). Place a large, shallow pan over a medium heat and add the butter. As soon as the butter melts, lower the heat a little and add the prepared spring onions, frying them gently for 3-4 minutes, until softened.  Next, increase the heat back up to medium and tip in the peas. Season to your liking with salt and pepper, and cook for five minutes, stirring every now and then. Carefully empty the pan into the food processor, then pour in the milk and blend to a smooth purée. Put the eggs in to a mixing bowl and beat them, then add the crème fraiche and beat again. Stir in a generous few gratings of nutmeg and grate in half the cheese, then pour in the pea purée and mix well to combine. Pour this mixture into the pastry case, then grate the remaining cheddar and scatter it across the top. Put the flan into the hot oven for about 30 minutes, until the filling is just firm slightly browned on top.

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