The year was 1989, I was ten years old. I wore my hair in a side-pony with neon pink and green hairbands, I listened to Whitney Houston’s ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ a thousand times on a seven single and I made the first, of many, savoury tarts. Savoury tart, is as retro for me as they get, essentially a crustless quiche, filled with whatever you fancied. In those days the most popular fillings, as I recall, were corned beef and onion, bacon and cheese and the ubiquitous tuna and sweetcorn. Enjoyed as the savoury component to a tea, or a light Sunday supper, the savoury tart remains one of those vestiges of childhood, I had all but forgotten, until recently. Sorting through an old biscuit tin, in which my mother keeps all her recipes, I even stumbled across the ‘Quick shake tart’, in an era when tupperware parties were all the rage, the ingredients for this savoury tart, were mixed together in what resembled a plastic cocktail shaker, which you shook the hell out of, before pouring the well blended ingredients into a pie dish and baking. I love savoury tarts and in a moment of nostalgia decided to make one, I started thinking how I could go about glamming it up and decided on a filling of smoked trout and chives. To accompany the dish, I made a raw beetroot salad, something I am fond of, spiked with fresh orange juice and zest and then in a moment of inspiration added a handful of sultanas that I’d soaked in gin. The herbal/juniper berry tones worked exceptionally well with the earthy beetroot and complimented the savoury tart by providing a contrasting sweetness, the golden orbs also look really pretty against the scarlett beetroot shards. This dish makes a delicious light lunch or supper, but would be equally good served for brunch, perhaps topped with a soft poached egg. Mmmm.
Smoked Trout Savoury Tart with Dijon and Chive creme fraiche and raw Beetroot and Orange salad with Gin soaked Sultanas
For the Savoury Tart
3 heaped tbsp flour
1 scant tsp salt
2 xl Free-range eggs, lightly beaten
375ml (1 1/2 cups) full cream milk
a handful of chives, chopped
100g smoked trout or smoked salmon, torn into bite size pieces
For the Dijon/chive creme fraiche
3 tbsp creme fraiche/sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
about 10 chives, chopped
a pinch of salt
For the Salad
4-6 baby beetroot, peeled and grated
Juice and zest of half an orange
about 50ml golden dried sultanas
Gin to cover
Set the oven to 180C. Grease a pie dish. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. In a jug, whisk the eggs, before adding the milk, whisk to combine. Add the chopped chives to the egg and milk mixture. Lay the smoked trout/salmon on the base of your pie dish. Add the egg mixture to the flour and whisk until smooth, pour over the smoked trout/salmon. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. The tart is delicious at any temperature and can be made in advance an reheated.
For the creme fraiche: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the salad: Begin by pouring just enough gin to cover the sultanas in a small bowl. Allow to soak for at least half an hour. Add the juice and zest from the orange to the beetroot in a bowl. Drain the sultanas and scatter over the salad.
Serve slices of the savoury tart topped with the beetroot salad and a generous spoonful of the creme fraiche.