Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Aubergine and prosciutto tartlets

These easily made tartlets could be the centrepiece of a light summer lunch with a tossed green salad with herbs. Makes 6.

For the Pastry

250g Plain flour

1 Medium egg, beaten

160g Chilled butter

Salt -a pinch

1 Egg yolk, beaten

For the Filling

1 Medium sized aubergine

2 tbl Olive oil

80g Prosciutto

4 Spring onions, finely chopped

150g Single cream

1 Medium egg

40g Parmesan, finely grated

Salt and pepper

You will need six tartlet cases, preferably with removable bases. Or if you only have four you will need to repeat the process of making the tartlet shells.

1. Sift the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub in all but 10g of the butter cut into pieces the size of a finger nail. Add half the beaten whole egg. Amalgamate to form a dough. If it is too dry add the remaining whole egg. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill.

2. Cut the aubergine into 2cms cubes. Combine with the olive oil and roast in an oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes, making sure that it doesn’t burn.

3. Cut the prosciutto into slivers and, once it has cooled, combine with the aubergine, the cream, the egg, the parmesan and the spring onions, adding salt and pepper to taste.

4. Roll out the pastry. Form it into six tartlet cases, greased with the remainder of the butter, with the pastry hanging over the sides. Line the cases with silver foil into which you tip some baking beans. Blind bake on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes in a moderate (150 degrees C.) oven.

5. Leave to cook, and then remove the beans and the foil. Trim any excess pastry from around the top of the pastry cases. Paint the interiors with the beaten egg yolk to seal any cracks. Spoon in the filling, being careful not to let it run over the top of the pastry cases. Put the baking tray back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until the filling is just set. Leave to cool, then push up the base to remove the tartlets, take away the base, perhaps using a palette knife, and place each tartlet on a plate alongside the salad if that is how you decide to serve it.

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