My own semi-professional camera developed a problem making my shots unusable. Thankfully I had already taken a few practice snaps shots with my family camera.
Oven Dried Tomatoes:
If you never tried oven drying tomatoes you really must! it concentrates the natural flavours and makes anything they are added to something very special. Yes I know it takes a while but unlike me they are very low maintenance and are very hard to mess up because they are cooked at such a low temperature.
1 x 12inch (30 cm approx) Ceramic flan-case
200g (8oz) Plain Flour
100g (4 oz) unsalted Butter
35g (1.5) oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 med egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon ice-water
Tart mix and salad garnish
8-10 large vine ripe tomatoes
1 1/2 bunches of local Asparagus
250ml Double Cream
3 medium eggs + 2 extra yolks
2 little gem lettuce
1 bag of rocket leaves
First cut the tomatoes into quarters (wedges) and lay on a non-stick cookie baking tray.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Dry in a fan assisted oven for 4-5 hours at 110 c.
Turn the tomatoes over once or twice during the slow cooking process.
In the meantime make the pastry.
Gently rub the flour and butter together until you have a fine crumb mix.
sift in the grated cheese then add the egg, egg yolk, ice water and gently bring the pastry together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Next, prepare the asparagus by trimming off the bottom 2 inches (and save and freeze until you have enough for soup).
Blanch the asparagus spears in boiling salted water for just 1-2 minutes (depending on how thick the spears are). Cool down immediately in cold water then drain and reserve.
Roll out the pastry (on a lightly floured surface) until it is 4mm thick.
Roll the pastry gently back onto the rolling pin and line your (buttered) flan case.
Trim off the excess edges and crimp the pastry edge if you wish.
Use a fork and make holes in the pastry base then line with a baking parchment and baking beans.
Blind bake the pastry case in a preheated oven at 190c for 15 minutes.
Remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for another 5 minutes or until the pastry is a light straw colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool, and then reset the oven to 160 C.
Whisk the filling (eggs, yolks, milk and cream) in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange 8-10 dried tomato wedges around the cooled pastry base.
Trim half of the asparagus and arrange in a decorative design in your pastry base.
Gently ladle in egg mix in and the place the tart into the centre of the oven once the temperature
has fallen to 160 C.
Bake in the oven until the egg mix is set and slightly coloured.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
In the meantime wash and toss salad leaves and add the remaining oven dried tomatoes and asparagus and arrange on the plates. You could also serve a shaving or two of any remaining Parmesan cheese.
If you wish you can reduce some balsamic vinegar until it is syrupy and drizzle across your
warm portioned tart. The balsamic vinegar adds a nice acidic contrast to the sweetness of the tomatoes. A good fruity chilled blush wine would be great with this dish.