A rich, savoury main course that will delight both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, these walnut, broccoli and gruyère tarts are perfect for Sunday lunch or dinner parties. The pastry is easy to master and the filling packed with tasty flavours – they take a bit of time to assemble, but they’re definitely worth the wait.
- For the pastry:
- 60g walnut pieces
- 200g plain flour
- Good pinch of salt
- 100g butter
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 medium egg yolk
- For the filling:
- 175-200g tenderstem broccoli, thick stalks removed
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
- 125g Gruyère, grated
- 4 medium eggs
- 300ml pot double cream
- You will need:
- 6 x 10-12cm (4-5in) fluted tart tins (or plain rings on a baking sheet)
- Baking parchment
- Baking beans
To make the pastry: Put the walnut pieces in a food processor and whizz until finely ground. Add the flour and salt, pulse to combine, then add slivers of butter and pulse to breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest, egg yolk and 2tbsp cold water and pulse until the mixture binds together. Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 mins.
Divide the pastry into 6 and roll out each piece thinly to line the tins, trimming the pastry hanging over the sides. Chill for 10 mins or so while the oven heats up to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Put the baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
Line each tin with a square of parchment and add the baking beans. Put the tins on the hot baking sheet, bake for 20 mins, then take out the paper and beans and bake for another 10 mins. Take out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
To make the filling: Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2-3 mins, drain and refresh under cold running water. Divide the spring onions and cheese between the pastry cases. Whisk the eggs and cream. Season well. Trim the broccoli spears and arrange in the tarts. Pour the egg mixture over and bake for 25-30 mins until just set. Cool for 5 mins, take out of the tins and serve warm or cool.
Bake the tart cases near the bottom of the oven so the base gets cooked. The pastry is very short, so take the tarts out of the tins carefully.