Saturday, 7 May 2011

Smoked mackerel flan - recipe

Its not just about sweet things here at 'the castle', we do like the savoury stuff as well. I'm not a lover of quiches, 'topless tarts' or flans (call them what you like?) and cannot stomach even the thought of those shop bought ones, but I do like my own homemade ones...funny that!
AND they need a good few eggs to make, so its a good way to use up the eggs from the girls...who are basking in the lovely sun we are having and dust bathing themselves into a frenzy each day...a lovely sight! It might look a bit crowded in that (ahem!) beautiful full blooming Spring border (that was before the girls took control) but the girls are in heaven, trust me, this is their first free Spring and they are loving life!
So departing from the usual ham/cheese or cheese/onion, cheese tomato style, we are partial to here, I saw a recipe recently and decided to give it a is a slightly altered was really delicious and I have made it again this weekend, we liked it that much.

Its nice hot or cold with salad and the like (I made a salsa and put it over some leaves). If you are not partial to this fish filling you can use another or see the link below with lots of other options.

For the pastry 
125 g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing the flan tin
250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting  
pinch salt
COLD water to bind
(in desperation, please buy a ready made pastry flan case or ready made shortcrust pastry)

For the filling
3 smoked mackerel fillets (buy one vacuum pack, this is sufficient)
3 large eggs 
50 ml double cream
100 ml milk 
1-2 tsp coarse wholegrain mustard 
1 bunch watercress, chopped
1 handful grated extra mature cheddar

1. For the pastry: put the butter, flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cold water to the mixer and continue processing until a dough is formed. Wrap it in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour, removing it from the refrigerator 15 minutes before you want to roll it.

2. Butter a 25cm shallow tin and sprinkle with a little flour. Lightly dust the dough with flour and roll out to a thickness of 3mm. Carefully lift the dough and lay it over the tart tin, then gently press down into the base. Trim the edges, leaving a rim of pastry above the rim of the tin to allow for shrinkage. Prick the base with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3. Line the pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then fill with dried peas or beans and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.

4. For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Remove the skin from the mackerel fillets, cut them in half lengthways and flake the flesh, removing any bones. Scatter the mackerel and watercress over the based of the part-cooked tart shell.  

Beat together the eggs, milk, cream, mustard and some salt and pepper. 

Carefully pour the egg mixture over the filling, stopping when the liquid reaches the rim of the case – be careful not to let it overflow. Top with grated cheese then bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling has set.

5. Remove the tart from the oven. Trim off any excess pastry around the rim, allow to cool, then cut into wedges and serve.

Here's the finished one, delicious! 

If you want more 'topless tart' inspiration then look here...where there are lots and lots!

1 comment:

  1. Phil from wigan asks:

    My mother use to cook liver that was so dry it sucked the very moisture from my mouth. So much so my siblings were often treated for dehydration down the hospital! Do you have any suggestions for a recipe that doesn't leave things dryer than the sahara?


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x