Packed with flavour, I return to these gutsy mini tarts frequently for simple snacks, as part of an Afternoon Tea spread or even for a picnic in the garden!
I will happily eat a tart or quiche at any time of the year, but it is one of my staple dishes in the summer. And whether going for larger tart or somewhat easier smaller tarts (tartlets!), you have a foodie’s delight.
Served warm – not hot and certainly not cold from the fridge – with a light green salad, it makes for a perfect al fresco lunch. Honestly, you lose so much of the flavour if it is either piping hot or stone cold!
One large tart or batch of tartlets?
Whether going for larger tart or somewhat easier smaller tarts (ie: tartlets), you will have a foodie’s delight.
If going for tartlets, you simply roll out the pastry, spoon in the filling followed by the egg mixture and bake- there is no need to bake blind the pastry beforehand.
A changeable recipe
Feel free to use whatever cheese you have in; for the large tart in the photo I used Manchego as well as a little Red Leicester that needed using up.
Similarly, use up any onions you have: red, white, brown, shallots…..
If you don’t like Chorizo you can use smoked bacon or pancetta. You can, of course, leave it out entirely for a still-delicious vegetarian dish.
A selection of some of my other favourite tart recipes is below the recipe.
Recipe: Chorizo, Manchego & caramelised onion tartlets – makes about 12
- 100g plain flour
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Manchego
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 25g unsalted butter
- 25g lard
- cold water to mix
- 100g chorizo, cut in very small chunks
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly (use any type of onion or a mixture)
- 50g Manchego, grated (or whatever cheese you have)
- 2 large egg yolks*
- 1 large whole egg
- 200ml milk (whole, ideally, or semi-skimmed)
- salt and pepper to season
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- a handful of chopped chives
you will also need a 12-hole mince pie tin for tartlets OR a deep 8” tart or quiche tin, lightly oiled and a solid baking tray for it to bake on
*you can freeze the whites in a sealed container and use them for meringues or macarons later
(1) Make the shortcrust pastry: add the flour, butter, lard, smoked paprika, cheese and salt to a food processor and pulse gently a few times to break down the fat. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and pulse a bit more – keep adding water just until it all comes togetehr to a soft dough.
Note: it is important not to over-process as the resulting pastry will be harder to handle and will have a tough texture.
(2) Pat the pastry gently into a flattened ball and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
(3) Meanwhile prepare the filling: heat the oil and the butter and add the onions. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened and started to turned a golden colour: this takes about 20 minutes.
(4) Add the Chorizo and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
(5) Lightly whisk the egg, egg yolks, milk, and seasoning. Mix about half of this mixture with the onions, along with most of the cheese: this loosens the onions and helps get a uniform filling. Pour the rest of the egg mixture into a small jug.
(6) After the pastry has rested, roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use it to line either the mince pie tins (for tartlets) or the larger tart tin. Preheat the oven to 140°C while you fill the tartlets.
Note: for a larger tart that will need to have the pastry blind-baked, allow a little overhang of pastry, and chill the lined tart case for about 30 minutes.
(7) Add a teaspoon or so of the onion mixture to each tartlet case, and pour over more of the egg mixture from the jug, coming to just below the pastry rim.
Note: for a larger tart, line the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind in a pre-heated oven at 170°C (fan oven) for about 15 minutes. Remove the greaseproof and bake for a further 10 minutes or until there are no damp patches visible. Leave to cool in the tin. Turn down the oven to 140°C.
(8) Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for about 15 minutes.
Note: for a larger tart, bake for about 30 minutes or until the tart has just set but still has a gentle wobble in the centre.
(9) Leave the baked tartlets for a few minutes in their tin holes and then transfer them to a wire rack. Sprinkle with chopped fresh chives before serving.