Spice: Layers of Flavour
Ever heard the phrase ‘real men don’t eat quiche’? Well I love quiche and I love this tart! The sharp, salty flavour of mild goat’s cheese counterbalances the sweetness of the onions very well. If you want to use ready-made pastry, just roll out and sprinkle with the Parmesan and fennel seeds before folding over and rolling again.
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You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Mix the flour, salt, fennel seeds and Parmesan together in a large bowl and then add the butter. Using your fingertips, massage the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, whizz the ingredients in a food processor.
Add the water one tablespoon at a time (you may not need all of it, just enough to hold it together). On a lightly floured surface, gently work the dough for a few seconds and form into a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions and star anise. Fry for about 15 minutes over a medium heat until the onions are soft and golden brown in colour.
Add the thyme, balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook for a further 6–8 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy. Set aside to cool slightly and then discard the thyme and star anise.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until it is about the thickness of a pound coin and large enough to line a 20cm fluted tart tin. Lay the pastry in the tin and gently press it into the edges. Trim the pastry as necessary, leaving a little sticking out over the edge of the dish. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork and return to the fridge to chill for another 10–15 minutes.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge, line with non-stick baking paper and fill with either rice, dried chickpeas or baking beans. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, then take out the baking paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until the pastry is pale golden.
Spread the onion mixture all over the base of the pastry case and evenly crumble over the goat’s cheese. If it’s too soft to crumble, mix the cheese into the egg mixture in the next stage.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, chives, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry case so that it comes almost to the top and then return to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes until golden and puffed up. Allow to cool slightly before serving.