Spring vegetable tartlets

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Makes at least 8, using 9cm mini fluted quiche tins with loose bottoms.

Baby vegetables need hardly any cooking at all.  Here they’re quickly blanched, then tossed in a minty, lemony, garlicky dressing. Poppy seeds and pinhead oats add crunchy contrast in cute little quiche tins.

Ingredients

For the pastry

150g rice flour (white or wholegrain), plus extra for rolling out

50g quinoa flour

50g cornflour

50g gluten-free pinhead oats

¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder

100g cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing the tins

25-30g Parmesan or pecorino cheese

freshly ground black pepper

2 tsps poppy seeds

1 large egg

1 large egg white (save the yolk for the filling)

 

For the filling

about 200g baby vegetables such as fine beans, asparagus or baby carrots

1 tbsp olive oil

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 clove of garlic, crushed or grated

zest of half a lemon

a small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

200ml milk

75g Cheddar cheese

freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Mix the flours, oats and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter in until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the cheese, black pepper and poppy seeds.
  2. Whisk the egg and egg white in a bowl, pour this into the flour mix, stir with a knife, and then bring the dough together by hand.
  3. Lightly grease the mini quiche tins – this is particularly important if the tins are new.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to a thickness of 4mm. I find the easiest way to line the tins is to stamp out circles using an 11cm round cutter.  Gently ease the discs into the tins, pressing down from the edge and working round until all is safely gathered in.  Patch any cracks with pellets of pastry, and then pop the pastry cases into the freezer for 20 minutes.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  5. Preheat the oven to 210oC/190oC fan/gas 6-7 and put a baking sheet in to heat up.
  6. Put a paper muffin case inside each pastry case, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 12 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper cases and bake for another 5 minutes to dry off the inner surface.
  7. Remove the pastry cases from the oven and leave them to cool (still in their tins) while you prepare the filling.
  8. Turn the oven down to 190oC/170oC fan/gas 5.
  9. Blanch the vegetables by cooking briefly in a pan of boiling water, (fine beans need 30 seconds, asparagus and baby carrots take 1 minute) then drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water.
  10. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large frying pan and gently fry the spring onions over a low to medium heat. Add the garlic, lemon and mint and stir together.
  11. Drain the vegetables and toss them in the warm onion dressing. Divide the vegetables between the pastry cases, making sure you share out the onion dressing too. You can try to be artistic with your vegetable arrangement but frankly your efforts may be in vain – the savoury custard will soon mask any bean sunbursts and asparagus clusters.
  12. Make the custard by whisking together the eggs, egg yolk, milk, cheese and black pepper. It’s best to do this in a jug so you can easily pour it into the pastry cases.
  13. Fill the cases, and then return the tray of quiches to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until firm and golden. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the tins.

Recipe from ‘Delicious Gluten-Free Baking’

© Howard Middleton

howardmiddleton.com

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