This recipe is quick, easy, and sublime. Perfect for good after-work dinners
I was flicking through an old edition of a Delicious magazine a couple of weeks ago (2011!), and I got all inspired by a recipe by Belinda Jeffery. I'm not a chef, and don't even rate myself as a cook, so I borrowed the idea but made it much more simple. It was so delicious. And the pastry was the best I have made yet (thanks to Stephanie Alexander's shortcrust recipe). With Autumn having declared her presence in Tassie the last couple of weeks, here is my recipe for this seasonal tart.
Autumn Tart - with Mushrooms and Tongola Curdy.
The Short Crust Pastry:
- 240g plain flour
- 180g butter (unsalted preferably), cubed
- 80ml of water (iced - I just throw in an ice-block from the freezer)
- A pinch of salt (I forgot this)
Ideally (but I don't and it works just fine) sift the flour into a food processor and add the butter (straight out the fridge is best). Pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. When you're happy with the texture, add the iced water, a little at a time, until it starts to come together (you may not need all of it). Put onto the bench and form it into a ball (but with minimal handling), wrap in some cling film and place into the freezer for 15 minutes (or the fridge for 30 minutes).
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of local garlic, finely chopped
- A large knob of butter and a healthy dash of olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 200g roughly sliced mushrooms (I used swiss browns for this recipe)
- 125g Tongola Curdy
- 6 eggs
- 100g full fat natural yoghurt (we use Tamar Valley)
- 50ml full fat milk (we use unhomogenised milk)
- Thyme, or whatever herb you have in the garden (tarragon, basil, dill all work well)
- Salt and pepper
Fry off the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the butter and olive oil (the mushies soak it up, so you may need to add more butter as you go along). Season with cracked pepper and then add the 2 tsp of cumin seeds. Take it off the heat when you're happy its cooked through.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yoghurt and milk together in a bowl. It'll be a bit lumpy at first, but keep whisking and it will smooth out but remain nice and thick.
When your pastry has finished chilling, roll out onto a floured worktop. Place over a pie dish (pictured is a 27cm dish) and blind bake at 180 degrees C until you're happy it's cooked through. Mine took 15-20mins.
When the tart shell is cooked, line it with the mushroom mix. Pour the egg mix over the top. Use 2 teaspoons to take the curdy out of the tub and place into the tart. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and flowers. Bake until cooked through - about 30mins.
I had quite a bit of pastry left over, so I also made 4 small tart shells which I'll freeze and keep for another day. Bonus!
It's been a great start to the season. But as you can probably tell, we've been so busy with cheese making, farming, raising our young children, involvement in community organisations and then off-farm income work, we haven't had much time for blog posts! But what we have been thinking about and doing some research into, is packaging our cheese so that we can send them to you, via the post, after on online order.
So, what we want to know from you - do you want to buy direct from the farmer, wherever you are in Australia (ie you can't make it to our Hobart retailers, the farm gate or the Farmers Market), or would you prefer to buy your product from a local retailer? And for those of you who want to pursue the retail option - who do you go to for quality cheese?
Either way, we need you to help us - please let us know what you want, because we want you to have the access you desire to our product, which frankly, we're pretty chuffed with at the moment! Please leave us a comment here, or on Instagram or Facebook.
It's "the day after", and we're writing this from rainy Melbourne (as we know we won't have a chance when we get home) as we recover from the inaugural MOULD Cheese Festival and wait with our empty eskies to board the boat back to Tasmania. Yesterday was a huge day. Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese partnered with Bottle Shop Concepts to bring an Australian Artisan Cheese Festival, at the old Meat Market in North Melbourne. It was a ticketed event, that sold out so quickly, many of Melbourne's cheese lovers missed out. And what a festival it was.... In addition to oodles of cheese, there was beer, wine, cider, whisky, vodka, gin, sake and fabulous food.
But enough about the extras, lets talk cheese. The patrons were fantastic - there were 17 cheese makers, 10 of whom also produce their own milk on farm (including us and Bruny Island Cheese). Each cheese stall had up to 6 cheeses available for tasting and sale. We were so busy, we barely had time to talk to our lovely neighbours (Tolpuddle Cheese - Victorian goat dairy and cheese makers), let alone get around to the other cheese makers to connect. We did manage to meet gorgeous Thea from Shaw River Buffalo and Michael from Pecora Dairy (who makes a fantastic Sheep's milk Blue called Jumberoo), as well as catching up with old friends from Grandvewe and Bruny Island Cheese.
Most of all, though, we had a fantastic time talking to the people who make our entire operation possible: the eaters of cheese. Without customers, none of us would be able to do what we love to do - make fantastic product (and there was so much fantastic product) and look after our animals the way we want to (and we know that you want us to). So from Tongola Cheese, thank you all so much for engaging with us, listening to our story, and most of all, sharing our passion for great cheese.