3 medium potatoes (I used 'Charlotte')
100 g pumpkin (I used 'Musquée de Provence')
3 chopped shallots
4 x squares of puff (flakey) pastry
100g of feta cheese
1 large sprig of rosemary
2 dessert spoons of acacia honey
ground black pepper
The honey Why use acacia honey? Apparently this honey is not only one of the sweetest, it also has a slightly sour taste, so good for adding to savoury dishes. It is also very slow to crystallise and is often recommended as a sweetener in recipes, instead of refined sugar.
The pastry You can make your own, but I used a square of supermarket feuilletée (puff) pastry, then divided it in four to make the base for the tart. As Nick reminded me: 'Cool in the making, hot in the baking', that's the secret of any good pastry whether you make it yourself or buy it ready to roll.
* Preheat the oven to 200 °C ( Gas Mark 6–7)
* Peel the potatoes and pumpkin. Cut both into thin slices, then steam for about 10 mins
* Fry the shallots gently in a little olive oil until they are soft
* Lay the pastry squares out on a tray covered with baking paper. I fumbled a little here, since my squares were all the wrong size. In the end, to cover my baking tray, I laid two out horizontally, two vertically, just so the pastry covered the whole base without exceeding a double thickness anywhere. And, actually, it's probably not that important!
* Prick the base all over with a fork and turn up the edges of the pastry all the way around the edge to make a pretty but practical border for your tart
* Spread the shallots over the base
* Lay the pumpkin and potato slices out as decoratively as you are able (not very, in my case!)
* Crumble the feta evenly over the top of your tart and chop the rosemary evenly over the top
* Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle a little olive oil on your tart to finish it off
* Bake for 30 mins at 200 °C ( Gas Mark 6–7)
* Just before serving, drizzle the honey over the tart
Bon Appétit! We ate the tart with a lovely crunchy green salad (we do that a lot, since I'm a bit of a rabbit). It was supposed to be for 4 people and only 2 of us consumed it, but your average French person would go on to eat (probably) at least two further courses after this, and I'd reached my cooking limit. It would make a perfect apero snack, cut into small pieces, or a good first course for 4 before the main (with a garnish of rocket?).
Wine? The French always like to tell you what to drink with your food, and in this case it was a 'Quincy du Berry'. The Loire valley's oldest Appellation Contrôlée (1936), made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown around the small town of Quincy (the region is the Berry). The flavour is described as 'fresh, floral and fruity' , and it should be kept no more than a couple of years. Since we had none to hand, and Nick is working in Italy at the moment (apologies to French wine producers!) we drank it with a Tenimenti Dogali, a Prosecco. And very nice too!
Approval Rating? ***** That's my highest!