Smoked Mozzarella Tart

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Cooking & Recipes

The recipe for this tart has been staring at me from the pages of my well-thumbed and sauce-splattered copy of Special Delivery for quite some time. When I recently spotted some elusive smoked mozzarella in a deli in Marrickville, it seemed like a sign and I left with half a kilo of the stuff as well as the ingredients for homemade pastry. I made and blind-baked the pastry a day in advance (as Sydney had a sudden mid-December pastry-friendly cold snap), then did the filling and final bake the following day. My hot tip is to pop a pizza stone in the oven and place your tart tin directly onto it to bake: it works wonders in keeping the pastry base nice and crisp.

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To make the pastry, pulse 300g of plain flour and 125g of chilled butter in a food processor until it reaches the “coarse crumbs” stage. Throw in the egg yolk and pulse the mixture until it starts clumping together, then start adding teaspoons of iced water until the dough forms a coherent lump. Press the lump into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Next it’s blind-baking time. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease-up a loose-bottomed tart tin. Place the chilled disc of pastry between two sheets of baking paper, and roll out until it’s about 3mm thick. Press the pastry into the tin, making sure it fits in snuggly and all the edges are trimmed, then chill for 10 minutes. Fit a piece of baking paper into the tin and pour in some dry beans or rice, then bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove the baking paper and beans, and leave the tart shell to cool.

Now for the filling. Crank up the oven to 200°C, then mix together a tablespoon each of pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Place 600g cubed sweet potato and 2 red onions (cut into wedges) in a baking dish, then pour over the pomegranate and oil mixture and toss everything to combine. Roast for about 30 minutes, adding 20 pitted Kalamata olives to the baking dish for the last 5 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven and reduce the temp back down to 180°C. 

Whisk together 300ml of sour cream, 2 eggs, 50g of grated parmesan with some salt and pepper. Pack the tart shell with the sweet potato, onions and olives, poke some cubed smoked mozzarella into any gaps, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Scatter 6 sprigs of thyme and 2 tablespoons of pine nuts over the top of the tart, and bake for 30 minutes or until lovely and golden. 

Let the tart cool slightly before digging in, or eat at room temperature. It’s also great straight from the fridge!

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