I have finally almost recovered from the whole ulcers/food poisoning/heat exhaustion shebang. I’m now 2kgs lighter (I’m sure they will creep back on soon enough) and still slightly sleep deprived. But I do feel more human like. This is the week I will catch up with all my back-logs (expect me spamming your feeds with new posts) and well, all those songs aren’t going to write themselves.
I can never get enough of Quiches and Tarts. Lucky I wasn’t born as a man or my machoness would be constantly tested. Oh, that was a bad one wasn’t it? I need to write more to stimulate my brain for some legitimate wit. Anyway, I have posted several versions shortcrust pastry in the past, but today I’m going to share a cheat’s version with Filo Pastry (store bought, I don’t think I’ll ever acquire the skill to roll these babies out).
Filo (or Phyllo) pastry are these paper-thin sheets/dough and quite intimidating to work with if you are using it for the first time. It does require rather delicate touch but they are so versatile and can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. My favourite usage for Filo is of course the good ol’ Spanakopita. Today, I shaped the pastry into little ‘cups’ to hold my fillings and they turned out like flowers! I made these for a party not long ago after I ran out of my own shortcrust pastry. The crispy multiple layered buttery crust works really well with the soft eggy centre.
Even though the title says ‘cheat’, you do need to spend quite some time layering the pastry and brushing butter in between. The more layers you use, the fluffier and crispier the crust will be. Mmmmm. It can be a fun exercise if you involve your friends/family. My recipe only make 4 little tarts but you can always multiply them!
Cheat’s Spinach and Bacon Tarts
70g Spinach, chopped
2 Strips of Bacon, thinly sliced
Quarter of onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon Ricotta
Pinch of shredded Parmesan
Salt and Pepper
50g Butter, melted
Filo Pastry dough, 4 sheets (1 whole sheet should be enough for one tart)
Preheat the oven to 180C
In a pan, fry the bacon without oil (the tip is to throw them in when the pan is still cold), then add the onion and spinach to cook for 2-3 minutes. Let cool.
In a bowl, whisk egg, cream, ricotta, salt and pepper together and set aside.
To make the Filo pastry ‘cup’, first brush the cupcake baking tray with butter. Cut the pastry into little square (about 7-8cm, you should get 8 with one sheet), begin build your cup by laying the pastry carefully into the tin, brushing the top with butter before laying the next layer, rotating the sheet as you go. 8 layers will be enough to hold the filling. Continue until you get all 4 cups done.
Divide the spinach/bacon/onion mixture into 4 and fill the pastry. Then pour in the egg mixture (about 4 tablespoons each). Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Once you are done with the filling. Take the pastry brush and brush butter on the outside of the pastry, bringing the edges in so the filling won’t leak during baking.
Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Good with a side of salad or as they are.
Want to see the inside? Here it is:
You can substitute the butter for some extra virgin olive oil too, if you wish. The pastry stays crispy for quite a long time but they are best to be eaten on the same day.
Before I finish, I guess it wouldn’t hurt for me to remind you that the voting for Asian Food Channel’s Foodie Cook Off will end in a few days time so if you haven’t voted for me, please head over to http://woobox.com/sc9r9f/vote/for/661716. It only takes a couple of clicks! Thank you so much.
Have a great week ahead and Happy Father’s Day to all fathers (
except the fathers in Oz as they celebrate this in Sept…. something that I’d never understand)! Turns out that many countries celebrate Father’s day on different dates, if you must know here’s what wikipedia says.