Souffléd smoked haddock tart in oatmeal pastry
- February 2014
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 45 min, chilling time 20 min, oven time 30 min
This smoked haddock tart is a bit like a cross between a traditional quiche and a soufflé, based on the classic omelette Arnold Bennett.
- 35.6g (19.1g saturated)
- 25.5g (1.8g sugars)
PER SERVING (for 8)
- 400g thick piece undyed smoked haddock fillet
- 175ml creamy milk
- 150ml double cream
- 6 fresh bay leaves, scrunched up a little
- 50g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 25g finely grated hard cheese, such as parmesan
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh curly parsley or chives
For the pastry:
- 175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 65g medium oatmeal (we like Rude Health – see tip)
- ½ tsp salt
- 65g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra to grease
- 65g chilled lard, cut into small pieces
- For the pastry, put all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz briefly until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp cold water and process again briefly using the pulse button until it starts to clump together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, bring together into a ball, then knead briefly until smooth. Lightly grease a 23cm x 3-4cm deep, loose-bottomed tart tin with butter. Roll out the pastry on the floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin, then use to line the flan tin, pressing excess pastry into any holes. Prick the base here and there with a fork, then chill for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put a baking sheet into the oven and heat it to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line the pastry case with a crumpled sheet of baking paper, then fill with a layer of baking beans or uncooked rice. (See our how-to video below for more tips.) Slide it onto the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges of the pastry are biscuit-coloured. Remove the paper and beans/rice and return to the oven for 5-6 minutes until the base is crisp and golden.
- While the pastry case is cooking, cook the smoked haddock. Put the haddock, milk, cream and bay leaves into a large saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, then cover and set aside off the heat for another 5 minutes. Lift the fish onto a plate and leave to cool, then break it into flakes, discarding the skin and any bones. Strain the warm milk into a jug.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the reserved warm milk mixture. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until smooth. Stir in the cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, pour into a mixing bowl and leave to cool slightly. Remove the pastry case from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
- Separate the eggs, stirring the egg yolks into the sauce and putting the whites in a large, clean, dry mixing bowl. Stir the flaked smoked haddock into the sauce along with the chopped herbs. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, then fold them into the sauce with a large metal spoon. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes or until golden, puffed up and softly set (see tip). If the top browns too quickly, you may need to cover it loosely with a sheet of foil. Remove from the oven and serve straightaway.
Oatmeal gives the pastry a more crumbly texture, which is perfect with the light filling. The filling should be slightly soft and lightly set in the centre when you cut into it.
Make the pastry case up to the end of step 1 up to 24 hours in advance and keep chilled until ready to bake. Or blind bake, cool, then carefully cover in cling film and leave somewhere cool overnight – it’s delicate so be gentle.
If you can get them, Arbroath smokies (a special type of whole smoked haddock) would be fantastic in this tart.
A French classic – an oaked white Bordeaux, a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc – is terrific with this tart.
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