Pea, pancetta and soft cheese tart
- September 2005
- 175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 100g cold butter, diced
- 2 large eggs, 1 separated
- 130g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cubed
- 284ml carton double cream
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 225g frozen peas, blanched for 30 seconds
- 175g Taleggio or other soft-rinded cheese, diced
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ fan180C/gas 6. Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and whizz until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Add 2-3 tablespoons of very cold water and whizz until it forms a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a large circle. Use to line a 23cm round and 3cm deep fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin. Prick the base, then pop in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
- Fill the pastry case with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and bake the pastry for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Brush the pastry holes with a little egg white to seal. Reduce the temperature to 180C/fan160C/gas 4.
- Meanwhile, place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Beat the cream, the whole egg and the egg yolk until well blended. Stir in the pancetta, chilli and peas, then season and ladle into the pastry case. Add the diced cheese. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until pale golden and just set. Carefully remove from the tin and slide onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can make and blind-bake the pastry case the day before, ready to fill and bake.
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