Recipe by Brenda Fawdon from Eat Local Volume 1, photo by Christine Sharp.
Towri’s award-winning farmhouse artisan sheep milk cheeses are made with the freshest sheep milk. Carolyn’s cheeses are best eaten with quality sourdough bread and accompaniments. Here, however, I have added just a few small chunks of feta to this savoury tart recipe and it makes all the difference. Serve the tart warm with salad.
3 carrots, cut into 4 cm batons widthwise
3 small red onions, peeled
3 free-range eggs
100 ml pure cream
100 ml double cream or crème friache
12 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
100 g sheep milk feta, broken into chunks
120 g salted butter, cut into 3 cm cubes
200 g organic white spelt or plain flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons iced water
To make the pastry, place the cubes of butter in a plastic container and place in the freezer for 5–10 minutes. Place the flour and salt in a food processor, and pulse. Add the butter and pulse several times until the butter flecks resemble almond flakes. Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add the egg yolk and water. Using a curved-edge pastry scraper, cut the pastry together. Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured bench and work into a ball with your hands. If the pastry is dry, add a little extra iced water. Form the pastry into a 3 cm thick disc, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the filling, preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the top and bottom off each onion to create 3 x 4 cm-deep onion discs. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the onions and carrot batons on the sheet, standing with cut-sides up. Drizzle with oil, season lightly and roast for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside to cool.
To blind bake the tart, lightly grease a 20 cm fluted tart tin with oil. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench to 3 mm thick, roll the pastry over the rolling pin and line the tin. Cut away excess pastry. Chill the pastry shell in the fridge for 10 minutes. Line the base of the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the weights and paper, and bake for 5 minutes or until the shell is golden. Remove and set aside to cool.
To make the tart, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the eggs, cream, thyme and seasoning in a bowl, and whisk together. Place the onion and carrot discs in the tart shell with space between them, standing with cut-sides up. Dot the cheese in the gaps and then pour the cream mix between the vegetables. Bake for 40 minutes or until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and serve warm with garden salad.