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    Smoked Salmon and Watercress Tart

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    Smoked Salmon and Watercress Tart

    This savoury tart makes the most of prepared ingredients. The ready-to-use shortcrust pastry is ideal for pie crusts, tartlets and quiches. In this recipe it is filled with ready-flaked smoked salmon making it very quick and easy to assemble. The salmon is combined with watercress in a creamy filling and can be enjoyed either hot or cold. For a wine to accompany this dish, serve a chilled Waitrose Alsace Gewürztraminer which has a spiciness that works well with smoked salmon.

    Ingredients

    • 500g pack Saxby's Fresh Ready-to-Use Shortcrust Pastry
    • 85g pack Waitrose Solo Watercress
    • 2 x 100g pack Waitrose Ingredients Prime Scottish Hot Smoked Salmon Flakes
    • 2 Waitrose Medium Free Range Eggs
    • 200ml Waitrose Crème Fraîche
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6 and place a baking tray in the oven to heat. Grease a 26cm, loose-bottomed flan tin. Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour and place the pastry in the centre. Take a lightly-floured rolling pin and roll out the pastry using short, sharp strokes. Give it a quarter turn then roll it out again. Continue in this way until the pastry is about 3mm thick and is roughly the right size to line the flan tin.
    2. To line the flan tin, place the rolling pin over the centre of the pastry. Fold the top half of the pastry over the rolling pin then lift it over the flan tin. Using your hands, gently unfold the pastry and ease it down into the sides of the tin. Leave the pastry hanging over the edge and set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes in the fridge - the pastry will have been stretched while being moved and this allows it to settle into the tin. Trim excess pastry with a knife or roll the rolling pin over the top.
    3. Prick the base randomly with a fork then line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place on the pre-heated tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is just cooked. Remove the baking parchment and beans and return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is crisp, but not too golden in colour. Remove the pastry in the flan tin from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before adding the filling.
    4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place the watercress onto a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, roughly chop, removing and discarding any coarse stalks. Place the chopped watercress in the pastry case, then arrange the flaked salmon evenly over the top.
    5. Beat the eggs in small bowl, using a fork. Add the crème fraîche and stir until combined. Pour this egg mixture into the pastry case over the salmon and watercress. Season and place onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the egg mixture has set and the tart is golden in colour.
    6. Remove the tart from the oven and leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Use a small knife to loosen the edges, then place on an upturned ramekin or small tin and carefully lower the metal flan ring. Run a palette knife between the metal base and the pastry, then transfer to a serving plate.

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    Cook's tips

    Pricking the pastry base with a fork releases any air trapped underneath which would otherwise expand during cooking to produce an uneven flan case. The baking beans stop the pastry from rising during cooking.

    Cooking the pastry in a hot oven before the filling has been added is known as 'baking blind' and helps produce a crisp pastry shell.

    You can buy ceramic baking beans for baking blind, but dried pasta and rice, lentils and dried beans, such as kidney beans, make good alternatives.

    Placing the loose-bottomed flan tin on a baking sheet while cooking means that if any of the filling leaks, there will be less mess in your oven. This also helps produce a crisp pastry base.

    Variation

    Try replacing Waitrose Ingredients Prime Scottish Hot Smoked Salmon Flakes with one of the other products in the Ingredients range, such as Serrano Ham Cubes, Chorizo Pieces, Smoked Ham Lardons, or Roast Ham Cubes. Find these in the chiller cabinet.

    Kitchen tools

    Rolling pin
    26cm diameter, loose-bottomed flan tin
    2 forks
    Baking beans
    Baking parchment
    Sharp cook's knife
    Small bowl
    Chopping board
    Baking tray
    Small tin or ramekin
    Palette knife

    Comments

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