Friday, January 23, 2009

Individual bacon and egg tartlets

Makes 18

* 1 quantity shortcrust pastry (see related recipe)
* 1/2 cup (50g) finely grated parmesan
* 1 tbs vegetable oil
* 200g bacon, cut into 3mm strips widthways
* 100g English spinach leaves, washed
* 2 tbs thin cream
* 18 quail eggs (see note)
* 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1. Make 1 quantity shortcrust pastry (see related recipe), adding parmesan to the flour and butter in step 1.
2. Heat oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
3. Cook spinach in salted boiling water for 20 seconds or until it wilts. Refresh in iced water. Drain, then wrap in a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Combine spinach and cream in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and flour nine 6cm-diameter (base measurement) tartlet tins. Use a round 6.5cm-diameter pastry cutter to cut pastry into 18 discs. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Working with 9 pastry discs at a time, place 1 disc into each tartlet tin and use your thumbs to press the pastry so that it sits 5mm above the edge of the tin. Prick bases with a fork, then place another nine tartlet tins on top, pressing down to sit neatly inside the pastry cases. Bake tartlets in oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove tartlet cases from tins and set aside. Grease and flour tartlet tins and repeat with remaining pastry discs.
6. Spoon 1 tsp of spinach mixture into each pastry case and make a well in the centre. Crack 1 quail egg into each tartlet, top with a tablespoon of bacon and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Place tartlets on a heavy-based oven tray, then bake for 8 minutes or until egg is just set. Remove tartlets from cases and serve warm.

Notes & tips
* Quail eggs are available from some delicatessens and gourmet food stores. Substitute 3 eggs whisked together.
* Use any excess pastry to make parmesan biscuits to serve with cheese or as a snack. Roll pastry into a 3mm-thick disc, then use a round 6.5cm-diameter pastry cutter to cut out biscuits. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C and bake biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container.

Notebook: Page 101
Recipe by Lisa Featherby


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