Cheddar Ploughman tartlets

These tartlets make good picnic fodder (either cold or still a little warm), or a great simple lunch with a crisp green salad

Higgidyploughmanstart

 

  1. Make the shortcrust pastry according to the method and put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes before using.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to about 2mm thick. Cut out six 15cm circles and line your tartlet tins with them. Prick the bases with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and put in a baking sheet to heat up. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 8 minutes to soften, then remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk the whole egg and egg yolk with the cream and two-thirds of the Cheddar, then season well with salt and pepper and set aside. Mix the breadcrumbs with the tomato paste and remaining cheese and set aside.
  5. Place a spoonful of chutney in the middle of each tart case, spoon the onions over the top, then pour over the egg filling. Thickly sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and Cheddar mixture and finally top with a whole cherry tomato, pressing it slightly into the filling.
  6. Reduce the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 and place the tartlets in the oven on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the filling has set and the top is crispy and golden. Cool slightly, then turn out of the tins and serve with a crisp salad.

Makes 6

What you need:

  • 1 quantity of ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • A little plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg and 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 50g dried breadcrumbs (blitz a piece of toast to fine crumbs in the food processor)
  • 2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 6 tbsp tomato chutney
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, with green tufts left on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

From The Higgidy Cookbook by Camilla Stephens (£16.99, Quercus at £16.99). For more information visit higgidy.co.uk.

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