Saturday, January 17, 2015

Caramelised Garlic and Feta Tart

I made this a few days ago for some friends that were coming over for dinner, it's a Yotam Ottelenghi recipe that I found online, except I adapted it as one of my friends does not like goat cheese (which the original recipe calls for) but does like feta (shh no one tell her that feta is also goat cheese). The tender caramalised garlic mixes really well with the sharp cheese and fresh herbs. I didn't use the exact measurements in the recipe, and made some adaptations from the original, the original calls for creme fraiche as well as heavy cream but I substitute the cream for plain semi skimmed milk - mainly because I'm lazy and did not have any cream handy - but this also reduces the fat content a bit. You might notice that I also accidentally bought half fat creme fraiche but in general I actually wholly embrace full fat cream and butter over 'half fat' versions, but that's a story for another day...

The other option you have is whether to buy pre rolled pastry or make it yourself. As I'm currently sporting a bandaged up little finger after a mandoline peeler accident (no joke) I bought pre rolled this time. The idea of making pastry used to really scare me, but after making several batches of mince pies with homemade pastry this christmas I discovered it's actually really easy. I definitely encourage you to make your own if you have the time and/or inclination!


2-3 heads of garlic (I used 2 and a half as this was what was available)
2 eggs
Shortcrust pastry
Freah thyme
Fresh rosemary
6 tablespoons of creme fraiche
5 tablespoons of semi skim milk
Balsamic vinegar
Feta cheese


Pre heat oven to 175 celsius

Roll out the pastry, I haven't given exact quantity but I used what ever the quantity of a pre rolled sheet is and it gave me enough to make a smaller caramelised onion and feta tart as well!

Line the bottom of a round baking tin with baking paper, I find that as pastry has high butter content there is no need to grease the tin

Use another piece of baking paper to line the bottom of the pastry on the inside, and fill with baking weights (you can also use rice or dried beans but if you do this make sure none are actually touching the pastry as they will stick)

When oven is desired temperature, blind bake the pastry for 20 mins

Whilst pastry is in the oven, bring a pan of water to simmer and add the garlic heads to blanch them for 3-4 minutes

Drain garlic, rinse with cold water

Add to a pan with olive oil and lightly fry for a few minutes

Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of water, reduce to a simmer

After 10 minutes, add the thyme and the rosemary (about 1 teaspoon of each) a pinch of salt and a tea spoon of sugar. Let simmer for another 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated leaving the garlic in a dark caramelised syrup. At this point take off the heat.

Once the pastry has been blind baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and remove the baking weights and baking paper - make sure you leave the oven on!

Crumble the feta evenly into the pastry case (again, no specifics on quantity, just use what ever amount looks right!)

Whip together the creme fraiche, eggs and milk until a custard like consistency

Spoon the garlic over the feta cheese in the pastry and pour the custard into the gaps between the filling

Reduce oven to 150 celsius and put the tart in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden brown on top


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