Scrapping in by the skin of my teeth is my entry for this month’s Cheese, Please! challenge.
The theme – summer cheese.
The gauntlet was thrown down somewhat at the launch of the challenge by Mistress Fromage Hommage herself declaring that there would be bonus points for anyone who could convince her that feta and watermelon was an actual thing. See, she doesn’t get it.
I have a thing for cheese and fruit together – I think it is something to do with the whole salty sweet combination – so I had planned for my entry to be a feta and watermelon concoction that would blow her (cheesy) socks off.
So much for planning, eh? My brain had other ideas and was extremely adamant that it wanted to make this peach, cheese and basil tart.
This was interesting for two reasons.
1) I am not a fan of the peach. Maybe I should qualify that. The only peaches I will eat are those out of a tin. I know, I know, tinned fruit, but wait for me to explain fully. I like the flavour of peaches, but the skin, oh the skin. That furry fuzzy sticks-to-your-tongue-like-velcro skin. The thought of biting into it makes me shudder. But . . . when you cook them, the fuzz disappears, like magic, suddenly rendering them edible.
2) My brain was pretty sure it wanted to use cottage cheese in this recipe. Before I made this tart I have never ever eaten cottage cheese. I was sure I wouldn’t like it – all lumpy and bumpy and weird-looking. Turns out, I should never have judged it by its appearance. It works really well in this tart.
Basil and peach go together. Cheese and basil go together. Cheese and fruit obviously go together. This tart is a match made in heaven. Crispy pastry, mild cheesy nuggets, fragrant basil and juicy peach. Yum.
Also, do you remember my trip to the River Cottage Food Fair, where I made gluten-free shortcrust pastry that blew my mind? Well, I sharing Naomi’s pastry recipe with you here as I used it in this tart. You’ll never make another gluten-free pastry again.
And, why not pop on over to Facebook, where I am sharing a little idea for the left-over pastry and peaches (if you’ve not ‘liked’ The Pink Rose Bakery on Facebook, now is a good time to do it, I post all sorts of tid-bits on there).
Peach, Cheese & Basil Tart
For the pastry:
- 80g brown rice flour, or a mixture of white and brown rice flour
- 70g sorghum flour
- 20g buckwheat flour
- 50g tapioca starch
- 70g ground almonds
- 4 tsp flax meal
- 100g salted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 8 – 12 tsp cold water
For the filling:
- 2 eggs
- 150g full fat cottage cheese
- 10g fresh basil, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 peaches, sliced
- 30g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
- Make the pastry ahead of time. Mix the flours, ground almonds and flax meal in a bowl. Add the butter and into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the beaten egg and lemon juice with a fork. Add approximately 5 tsp of the water and bring the mixture together until it starts to form a soft, slightly damp dough, adding more water a little at a time as you go. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for at least an hour, but ideally over-night. Remove it from the fridge 10 minutes before you want to make the tart to allow it to warm up slightly and become easier to handle.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit.
- Place the pastry between two sheets of baking parchment and roll out until it is roughly 5mm thick and big enough to line your tart tin. Using the baking parchment to help you, transfer to the tart tin and carefully ease it into place. Don’t worry if it falls apart a little bit, you can patch up any holes / cracks – it is quite forgiving. Using some baking parchment and baking beans, blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and allow to cool a little.
- While it is cooling, make the filling. Beat the eggs together in a bowl, add the cottage cheese, chopped basil and salt and pepper. Slice the peaches and grate the cheddar cheese if you haven’t already done so.
- Pour the basil, cottage cheese and egg mixture into the pastry case. Arrange the peach slices on top and scatter over the grated cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the egg mixture is firm to the touch and a little golden.
- Leave to cool to room temperature before serving.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014