Salmon, Leek (or Fennel) & Gruyere Tart


It was 4 in the morning and all through the house not a creature was stirring except me, scurrying around like a mouse on speed getting ready for the rugby! Phew - well what a game! We had 15 of our best mates around to watch the Rugby World Cup Final this morning, the All Blacks V Wallabies ultimate rugby show down and it was a fantastic game, with New Zealand dominating for much of the first half, Australia coming back in the second, and then the All Blacks sealing the deal in the last 15 minutes. It was perfect finals rugby, a close game with plenty of drama and great skills. I had fully prepped the day before so that when everyone arrived around 4:40am we started with pots of tea, glasses of honey whiskey on ice and either chocolate chunk cookies or oaty, ginger and raisin bikkies. That saw us through to half time, when I quickly shoved a whole lot of made up soft rolls with sausages, caramelised onion and cheese into the oven, along with some vegetarian options with creamy mushrooms or asparagus, cheese and aioli. After much cheering (sore throat now) and jumping up and down after the final whistle we managed to sneak in a celebratory glass of Prosecco and a tiny piece of this scrummy salmon, leek and gruyere tart. (Little shout out to Regal Salmon for the selection of beautiful goodies they sent me - as you'll know if you're a regular reader I don't often do endorsements - and mentioned as much when they said they'd like to send me product. But the thing is, it looked and tasted bloody delicious and was perfect for the tart - so thanks guys!!!) I used a mix of onions and leeks in the tart, but you could easily swap the leeks for finely shaved fennel - both flavour combinations work beautifully. It is super-rich and absolutely delicious (if I say so myself) and only needs a green salad accompaniment.

Anyhoo after very little sleep and a full-on morning I am now looking forward to having a quiet little re-look at the recorded game with a lazy cup of tea this afternoon (I am a total rugby-head) followed by tart left-overs for dinner and an early night. This recipe got the big thumbs up this morning, and although I didn't get the chance to take any pics of it out of the tin or cut up, I'd encourage you to give it a go - totally worth it! :)







Pastry:
1 3/4 cups flour
120g butter, chilled, chopped 
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 egg yolk
3-4 tbsp chilled water

Pulse flour, butter and Parmesan in a food processor until it forms breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and enough water that it just comes together in clumps. Tip out onto the bench and squish together into a big fat sausage log. Roll in plastic wrap and chill while you prepare the filling.

2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced (or large fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp cream

Heat oil in a big deep frying pan and cook onions and leeks with salt and pepper over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until soft and cooked through but not browned. (If you are using fennel instead of leeks it may take 5-8 minutes loner :) )Add cream and cook a few more minutes then put aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and get out a 30cm removable base tart tin. Now the pastry which ends up 'short' cheesy and delicious is a total pain to roll out so don't even try. Remove the plastic wrap then slice off 1/2cm thick circles and use them to cover the base of the tart tin then squish into the base and up the sides until it is full lined. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Cut a circle of baking paper (or use 2 rectangles like I do) and put into the pastry shell and fill with baking beans or rice. Cook 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and weights and cook a further 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160˚C (325˚F ). Prepare filling during tart base cooking.

6 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
50g grated gruyere
200g smoked salmon (I used Manuka Smoked Sliced Salmon from Regal Salmon's Artisan range)

Whisk eggs, yolks and cream to combine. Once pastry shell is par-cooked sprinkle gruyere over the base and top with leek and onions. Lay over salmon then pour eggy mix on top. Cook 30 minutes until filling is set. Beautiful served hot or at room temperature with a simple green salad. Serves 8 (or 15 as part of a rugby breakfast feast!)


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