Martha Collison's ham hock & pea summer tartlets

These light, fresh-flavoured tartlets are an ideal easy starter or canapé for early summer. Swap the ham hock for some feta cheese to make them vegetarian

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes + cooling
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35-40 minutes + cooling

Makes: 12


250g plain flour
125g butter, cubed and chilled,
plus extra for greasing

250g mascarpone
100ml double cream

80g fresh peas
2 sprigs mint, leaves only
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest
½ lemon
90g pulled ham hock
Pea shoots, to garnish


1. To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cubed butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir with a round-ended knife until the pastry clumps together, then wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4 and lightly grease a 12-hole fairy cake/shallow muffin tin with butter. Roll the chilled pastry out to a 5mm thickness and use a round cutter slightly larger than the holes in your tin to cut out 12 circles. Press the pastry into the tin and prick bases with a fork before baking for 10-15 minutes, or until the tarts are a pale golden brown colour. Allow to cool completely.

3. To make the pea pesto, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Boil the peas for 1 minute, then drain and allow to cool. Finely chop the mint and place into a small bowl with the olive oil and lemon zest. Season, then gently crush the peas before adding and mixing well to combine.

4. Beat the mascarpone with the cream in a small bowl until smooth, then season. Spoon into a piping bag and fill each cool tart shell with the mascarpone mix. Top each one with a spoonful the of pea pesto, a generous sprinkle of ham hock and a few pea shoots. Eat immediately.