This was my first foray into making pastry from scratch! Doughy, floury things are one of my favourite things to make so it is surprising that it has taken me this long to try, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it. So when I was going to a family lunch with several non-vegetarians I thought it was a good opportunity to try out something that would be easily shareable, hearty enough to appeal to omnivores, and full of delicious seasonal vegetables.
265g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
125g chilled butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tsp iced water, plus extra to achieve the desired texture
Process flour and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse until it starts to come together. Be careful not to overprocess. Add some more water if it is not coming together, but add it slowly.
Knead pastry into a round disc and wrap in glad wrap, placing in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
When baking pies or tarts you often need to blind bake the base to ensure it stays firm and forms a solid enough crust to hold the filling. To do this, lightly flour your bench and roll the pastry out into a circle slightly bigger than your intended baking dish. Gently place the pastry in the dish and trim the edges. I got a few little tears in mine, but I just patched it with some of the trimmings and pressed it together.
Fill the pastry base with baking beads or dried beans and place in a 180 degree oven, cooking for 15 minutes. The beads will stop the pastry from puffing up in the centre. After 15 minutes, remove the beads or beans and bake for a further five minutes.
While the base is blind baking, begin preparing your vegetables. Any combination would work well here, but I used sweet potato, leek, zucchini, capsicum and asparagus. Chop vegetables into pieces and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with good quality olive oil and sprinkle over salt and pepper to season. Bake in a 200 degree oven until cooked through, stirring a few times during the cooking to ensure they are all cooked evenly.
Beat four eggs and add the white of the yolk you used for the pastry. When the vegetables are cooked, place them in the tart base and pour the egg mixture over, tilting the pie dish to distribute the egg mixture evenly. Place back in the oven and cook until eggs are set. You may need to put a pizza tray or similar over the dish to make sure that your pastry doesn’t overcook around the edges.
When the pie is cooked, let cool for a few minutes before serving. We served it with a quinoa and rocket salad, olive sourdough, and some chicken for the non-vegetarians. Even for a first go at pastry, it worked pretty well!