There are moments when you stare into the fridge looking at what is left at the end of a week, and you are stumped by what to cook for dinner (despite having a fridge full of ingredients). Then, there are more rare times when you are struck by moments of divine fridge pondering clarity where inspiration hits and the results are spectacular.
This is a tale of the latter.
Looking at the contents of my fridge the other night, I noticed the unopened jar of onion and thyme jam I bought in Perth over the Christmas break standing proudly next to the left over goats cheese. This brought the beginnings of a tart to mind. Despite a slightly disappointing start after realising there was no shortcrust pastry in the freezer, a quick search of the cupboard proved I did have all the fixings to make the pastry from scratch – so I got to work.
While making the pastry, I pondered the use of just the onion jam and goats cheese in my tart, and realised that I needed a third element – something salty to offset the sweet onion jam and sharp goats cheese – and I knew instantly that dried Italian sausage would be the perfect accompaniment.
I like to have a store of dried Italian sausage in the fridge, it’s a little nostalgic for me as my dad always loved a pre-dinner snack of Italian sausage and bread while I was growing up. While it is great grilled with a squeeze of lemon juice and added to a cheeseboard, there is definitely much more versatility to be had when using it in other recipes.
I would recommend keeping some shortcrust pastry in your freezer as it would definitely have made this a quick and easy dish (feel free to try it with store bought pastry – the Australian Careme brand pastry is amazing). But, if you are in the mood to hone your pastry skills, I suggest trying this recipe as it results in flaky and flavourful savoury shortcrust pastry.
This tart was a complete success and felt extremely fancy for a midweek meal. The combination of onion, sausage and goats cheese was a wonderful and bold flavour combination and one which both Scotty and I enjoyed. I’ll absolutely be making this again, but perhaps when there are a few more friends around to enjoy it with us.
Onion, Italian Sausage and Goats Cheese Tart
SAVOURY TART CASES
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
9 tbsp cold butter
1 1/2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp cold water
4 heaped tablespoons onion and thyme marmelade
1 cups diced dried italian sausage
200g goats cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
thyme sprigs to garnish
SAVOURY TART CASES
Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Cut butter into small cubes then add the butter to the flour and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small dish mix together the sour cream and water until combined. Add to the food processor and pulse to combine.
Transfer dough from food process to a floured bench top and cut into four portions. Using your hands shape the first portion into a round disk slightly larger than the size of your tart cases (being careful not to let the dough stick to your bench top).
Lift the pastry disk over the centre of your tart case and lay on top. Working gently, push the pastry into the bottom and sides of you tart case (extend the dough a little around the edge to account for any shrinkage that may occur when baking). Repeat with remaining dough and tart cases. Refrigerate for between an hour and overnight.
Preheat oven to 200° Celsius. Place tart cases on a tray and line each case with baking paper. Fill each tart case with pie weights (or uncooked rice) and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake for another 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius.
Place frypan on medium-high heat and add dried italian sausage, cooking for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
Take a tart case and add one tablespoon of onion and thyme marmelade to the bottom, top with 1/4 cup Italian sausage and then season with salt and pepper. Top with 50g goats cheese and then garnish with a sprig of thyme. Repeat with remaining tart cases.
Place tart cases on a tray and then bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, place tarts under the oven grill until the goats cheese starts to brown. Remove and serve.