I steamed the bright green, tight florets of broccoli and gave them ample time to dry. I roasted small chunks of pumpkin - a beautifully dark coloured and deeply flavoured one from dad - and slowly, slowly cooked finely sliced onion, crushed garlic and chopped mushrooms, in plenty of grassy green olive oil, until it was golden and silky. I had to restrain myself from halting the tart plans there and just eating this marmalady concoction.
I made my pastry from scratch. Pastry is not hard to make; if you have a food processor it is a doddle. For so little effort, the rewards are magnificent (on the plus side, you know exactly what is in it). Pastry is also a beautiful thing to make, and again, on the weekend you have time to enjoy rolling out the silky, pliable dough. Since buying a marble rolling pin (which I keep in the fridge so it's always cold and ready for action), rolling out pastry is even more 'one of life's little pleasures' (if I can admit that without sounding kinky). Its substantial weight makes easy work of any dough.
I used my favoutite pastry recipe - actually, the piece of paper it is written on says 'BEST PASTRY' - but because this was a savoury tart (I usually use it for fruit tarts), I added a pinch more salt and lots of cracked black pepper.
I went through the tedium of blind baking the tart case - I get so impatient at this stage (even with ample time). But it does allow me to use another of pastry making's accoutrements, my ceramic pastry weights. They don't get out often enough!
Then I spread the onion and mushroom mix onto the base (this time, I did sneak a spoonful) and then arranged the broccoli and pumpkin on top. Then I poured over a mix of eggs, sour cream, ricotta and parmesan, and a little plain flour, then added some crumbly shards of my new favourite addiction - Mersey Valley's basil and garlic pesto cheese (I have deliberated over whether I should name products on my blog, but this is so wonderful I have to share it with you - you might want to try it, and then wonder how you lived without it! Mersey Valley might send me truckloads of the stuff (I'll share, mum)! But honestly, now that basil growing season is finished here in Hobart, this is a bright, sharp reminder of summer, and it added a punch to this tart). I popped the lot in the oven and baked it for about 30 minutes - til the batter was set.
All of these stages - I would never have the time or energy to do this after work. But on the weekend, I could slowly stir the onions, wait for the pumpkin to caramelise perfectly, and enjoy the pasty yielding beneath my heavy rolling pin. I could enjoy the wait for the oven bell to go off, instead of impatiently peering thru the glass door while my stomach growled.
I used double this quantity but had excess once fitted into the tart tin. I just tore it off, rolled it even thinner, and baked it into little crisps. I don't know where I got this recipe from.
- Add to a food processor 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 tspn sugar, 1/8 tspn salt, 80-85 grams salted butter.
- Whiz up then with the bowl still running, slowly add enough cold water until the dough starts to ball up. Remove and roll out and use.
- Proper pastry people would chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour before using, but ... I'm not a proper pastry person.