Buttery Crisp Fennel Tart

Fennel Tart

A tart, a quiche, a pie, call it whatever you like, anything that involves buttery short crust is heavenly food to me. I’m the happiest person in the world when I have one of these in my oven, filling the air with that buttery smell, teasing me as I can’t wait to have the first bite in my mouth. Most of the time I use my all time favourite Quiche crust recipe for any kind of savory tart or Quiche. I wrote about that recipe in December. It has been with me for nearly twenty years and I never found a better one. It’s crisp, it’s buttery, yet still light. Just perfect!

If you follow eat in my kitchen you’ll find that I tend to buy too much of this and that (I’m talking about food). This time it’s fennel, three bulbs! I never throw any food away, I use everything I buy, but I become too excited when I see all the nice food at the market and a million things come into my mind that I’d like to cook with them. So I buy whatever arouses my appetite. Sometimes, my fridge just reaches its limits.

I haven’t made a tart in a while so I will use the fennel for the filling, mixed with Parmesan, a few eggs, milk and cream, and the buttery smell can take over my flat!

Fennel Tart

Fennel Tart

For one tart you need a round (27cm / 10.5″) or oval baking dish or tart pan.

For the short crust base

flour 250g / 8.5 ounces
I use spelt flour type 630 (but you can use any other plain flour)
butter, cold 125g / 4.5 ounces
organic egg 1
salt 1 teaspoon

Combine the flour with the salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and work the butter into the flour until combined (there shouldn’t be any lumps of butter left). Add the egg and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

For the filling

fennel, cut in half and sliced thinly, 400g / 14 ounces
organic eggs 2
milk 100 ml
heavy cream 100 ml
Parmesan, grated, 2 heaped tablespoons
salt 1 teaspoon
black pepper
nutmeg, freshly grated

The tart

Set your oven to 210°C / 410°F.

Fry the fennel in a little oil for 5 minutes until golden.

Mix the eggs with the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Roll out the dough between cling film and line your baking dish with the flat pastry. Prick it with a fork and blind-bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.  Take your baking dish out of the oven and set the temperature down to 180°C / 355°F.

Spread the fried fennel on top of the pre-baked pastry base and pour the liquid mixture over. Put the tart carefully on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, the top should be firm. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Fennel Tart