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France Puff Pastry Tart Shell
France Puff Pastry Tart Shell

1m read

France Puff Pastry Tart Shell

Filled with Fridge Staples



Puff pastry was pioneered by the French, but is used the world over for sweet and savoury dishes alike. This is a great lunchtime to make with whatever you can find in the fridge or pantry - the sky's the limit! Jackie Cameron favours combining salty olives, sweet caramelised onions, punchy basil pesto and melty mozzarella - all flavourful and versatile fridge-finds.


Puff Pastry

Makes: 1250 grams


Part 1 Ingredients:

●      450g salted butter, at room temperature

●      15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

●      115g stoneground white bread flour



Mix all the ingredients together, shape the mixture into a block 10cm x 10cm. Cling wrap tightly and place into the fridge to get cold for a few minutes (just cold, not hard).


Part 2 Ingredients:

●      200g stoneground cake flour

●      200g stoneground white bread flour

●      50g salted butter, cold

●      250ml water, ice cold

●      15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

●      5ml fine salt



Sift the cake flour and white bread flour together. Add the butter and work it in with your fingertips to resemble the same texture as breadcrumbs. Make well in the flour and pour in the water, lemon juice and salt. Work the ingredient into the dough, trying to knead it as little as possible. Cling wrap the dough tightly and place in the fridge to get firm and cold.


Putting Part 1 and 2 Together:

Take the Part 2 dough out of the fridge. Make a cross on the top. Roll out from each cross-point edge to form four extensions with a thick centre. Place the mixture from Part 1 on top of the thick-centred-cross, making sure that it fits neatly on the cross, if not roll out a little more. Fold the dough extensions over the butter (one at a time) to close and cover it completely. Flour the surface well. Roll the dough into a rectangle (only rolling up and down, never to the sides), then take the bottom corners of the dough and fold them a third up to the middle, then take the top corners of the dough and fold them down two-thirds, so they meet the bottom corners of the dough. Then turn the dough a quarter of the way so that the closed side is on the left (try to imagine seeing a books-spine). That counts as one fold for the puff pastry, between each fold the puff needs to be rested in the fridge, for at least 30 minutes or until cold. The folding needs to be repeated 6 times, and then the dough will be ready for use. Puff pastry freezes very well.  When needed just take out of the freezer the night before, and slowly defrost in the fridge. 


Hand Pressed Basil Pesto

Yield: 400ml–500ml



●      70g fresh basil

●      60g salted butter (chef’s note: gives the pesto a thicker consistency)

●      250ml olive oil

●      25g garlic

●      100g finely grated parmesan or pecorino

●      100g pine nuts or pine kernels (chef’s note: flaked almonds can be substituted as a more-reasonably priced alternative and they are as delicious)

●      Salt and pepper



Place basil, butter, olive oil, garlic and grated parmesan into a Defy Handheld blender. Roast then slightly cool the pine nuts. (Chef’s note: roast nuts just before adding to the other ingredients to ensure a fresh, roasted flavour). Add the nuts to the liquidiser and liquidise until the correct consistency is reached. Store in an airtight sterilised container in the fridge or use immediately.


Olive Tapenade

Yield: 300ml



●      250g olives, de-pitted

●      10ml dijon mustard

●      30ml olive oil

●      15g capers



Liquidise all the above ingredients together in a Defy Hand Blender, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Any leftover can be stored in an airtight, sterilised container in the fridge.


Caramelised White Onions

Yield: about 350g



●      435g white onions

●      500ml white wine

●      200g white sugar



Place all ingredients into a heavy-based pan. Allow to simmer until onions are caramelised and all the white wine has reduced to make white-wine syrup that coats the onion slices. This takes about 35 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight, sterilised container in the fridge.


Assembling the Tart

●      400g chilled puff pastry

●      400g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

●      Basil pesto

●      Olive tapenade

●      100g sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water until softened, then thinly sliced

●      3 roasted red and/or yellow peppers

●      Extra micro herbs or fresh basil



Roasted red and/or yellow peppers: Burn the peppers black by placing directly onto the flame of the Defy gas cooker, then place in a plastic bag to allow to sweat. Remove the outer blackness by rubbing all over with your hands, or rinse in cold water, then slice. Roll the chilled puff pastry to a 24cm x 12 cm rectangular tart tin. Prick the base with a fork and place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to rest.  Blind bake in a preheated Defy Oven at 200˚C for about 20 minutes, or until cooked and golden brown. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. Cover the base of the tart with one-fifth of the thinly sliced mozzarella. Top this with a layer of basil pesto and another layer of mozzarella. Scatter the sundried tomatoes over the surface.  Top with another layer of mozzarella.  Spoon over a thick layer of olive tapenade and top with more mozzarella. Add the sliced, roasted peppers and a final layer of mozzarella. (At this point, you can set the tart aside, at room temperature, until ready to serve). Bake in a preheated Defy oven at 200˚C for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melting and oozing. Before serving, garnish with the caramelised onions and micro herbs or fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper. Serve straight away.