So this week, as a Birthday celebration and the fact that I am 21 again I’m hosting an Afternoon Tea for some of my lovely Mummy friends. I’ve spent a week cleaning (yes it was that bad) and now it’s on to the fun bit – baking!
First on my menu is some little savoury tarts – Caramelised Onion and Mushroom.
225g plain flour
1 egg yolk, large
2-3 tbsps water (approx)
2tbsp olive oil
500g onions, sliced (about 3 large)
300g mixed mushrooms – take your pick, chestnut, portobellini, shitake, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
125ml single cream (250ml for large 8″ tart)
1 egg, large (2 eggs for large 8″ tart)
salt and pepper
Makes 12 mini tarts or 1 x 8″ Tart.
To make the pastry rub the lard and butter into the flour in a large bowl until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively you can make it in the food processor – blitz together the flour, butter and lard.
Add the egg yolk and enough water to bring the pastry together.
Knead lightly till smooth, wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour.
Grease well the recesses of a 12 hole cupcake pan.
Roll the pastry out onto a well floured surface and cut out circles large enough to line each hole. If you have space bob these in the fridge to chill whilst we make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 180c Fan/200c/Gas Mark 5.
Over a medium heat, heat the oil in a large frying or saucepan. Add the sliced onions and fry until nicely softened.
Are you crying yet? I am. I saw a pair of pink onion goggles in John Lewis the other day but resisted the urge as I knew I’d look like a plonker – now with tears streaming down my face and the fact that no-one else in the house can bear to be downstairs maybe I should have succumbed!
Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook until they are softened.
Add to the mushrooms and onions the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic.
Turn the heat up to high and fry until the majority of the vinegar is evaporated and the onions start to caramelise. This should take about five minutes.
Remove from the heat and set to one side.
In a jug whisk together the cream, egg and a good dash of salt and pepper.
Fill each pastry case with a good helping of the mushroom and onion mixture.
Pouring slowly from the jug top up the tarts with the cream mixture. Go slowly and allow the liquid to fill around the mushrooms and onions. Fill them up just below the rim of the pastry, we don’t want them to overflow.
Now into the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and puffy on top.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, whilst still warm run a sharp knife around the tops of the tarts just in case a little bit has overflowed. If you don’t release these bits whilst still warm they will weld to the tin and you won’t get the tarts out!
Once fully cooled, remove from the tin and serve.
If you would like to serve them warm you will need to refresh them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Finalist on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off