Recipes

Caramelised Fennel Custard Tarts w/ Black Olive, Feta and Orange Salad

These tarts are simply delicious eaten straight from the oven, however I have made them on other occasions to take on a picnic and the ‘eat’ equally well served cold. You can also down size the ingredients and make mini tarts to serve as a canapé.

Step 1

Pastry

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the butter cubes and salt. With clean cold hands rub the butter into the flour until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs. Do not over work (there should be plenty visible pieces of butter). Add the cold water and the egg yolk to a small bowl and whisk lightly, until combined. Add the yolk liquid to the flour and mix through until a dough forms. Again, do not overwork the pastry, just enough that it comes together. Cut the pastry in half, cover with cling wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Caramelised Fennel

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Take the fennel bulbs, remove the green stalky tops and discard. Now cut in half and remove most of the tough inner core. Then cut the halves into thickish wedges. Place in a bowl and toss with the oil , season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Place on a baking dish and roast in the oven for 30 or so minutes until roasted, golden and soft. Remove and cool.

Step 3

Caramelised Fennel Custard Tarts

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Roll out the pastry on a floured bench top to a pie crust thickness (a couple of millimetres thick) Cut out pastry rounds that will fit 6 pie tins measuring a 10cm by 3cm round. Dock the pastry before lining the tins Alternatively make one large tart using a large Quiche tin. Line the pastry with baking paper , then weight down with rice or similar as you blind bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Take out of the oven, and carefully remove the blind baking weights and paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the tarts with the egg yolk then place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and cool in there tins. For the custard, pour the cream and the ground fennel seeds into a suitable saucepan and place on medium heat. Bring up the cream to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let the fennel seeds steep for 10 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks and the single egg. Once the cream has been steeped for the 10 minutes, while whisking, slowly incorporate the cream into the egg mix. Now strain the custard batter through a fine sieve and discard the ground fennel seed. Add the chopped dill and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. To assemble the fennel custard tarts, firstly reserve 6 nicely caramelised pieces of fennel. Rough chop the rest and divide into the pie tins. Now pour the custard batter over the fennel and fill to the top of the pie shell. Place the reserved piece of fennel in the centre of each pie. Turn the oven down to 180, and place a oven proof dish containing hot water in bottom of the oven to create a little steam while the pies are cooking. Cook the pies for 20 to 30 minutes until just set. Remove and keep warm.

Step 4

Black Olive , Feta and Orange Salad.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and gently mix together until the salad leaves are wilted and fully combined.

Step 5

Plating and Serving

Place a warm tart in the centre of each plate with a pile of the salad on the side. Eat now!

Photography by Kieran Scott

The goods

Step 1

  • 340g Flour
  • 225g Butter (cut into 1cm cubes)
  • pinch Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Egg Yolk

Step 2

  • 1 kg Fennel Bulb
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • - Sea salt and Fresh Black Pepper

Step 3

  • Pastry
  • Flour for rolling pastry
  • 2 Egg Yolks (stirred)
  • 3 Cups Cream
  • 1 Tbl Fennel seeds (toasted and ground)
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 3 Tbl Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
  • Sea salt and Fresh Black Pepper
  • Caramelised Fennel Bulb

Step 4

  • 1 Bunch Rocket or similar (rough chopped)
  • 3/4 Cup Black Kalamata olives (cut in slithers)
  • 100gms Feta Cheese (roughly crumbled)
  • 2 Oranges (peeled, pith removed, cut into segments)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Red Onion ( sliced thinly)
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted Pine nuts (rough chopped)
  • 100mls Olive Oil

Step 5

  • Caramelised Fennel Tarts
  • Black Olive, Feta and Orange Salad

Cooking pasta

With pasta, don't run it under cold water when it's cooked. Strain it through a colander, put it on a tray to cool, and coat in olive oil See all the tips