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Step by Step - Smoked Salmon and Watercress Tart
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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.
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.
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.
Use baby spinach leaves as an alternative to watercress.
26cm diameter, loose-bottomed flan tin
Sharp cook's knife
Small tin or ramekin
This recipe was first published in April 2002.