These beetroot, onion and goats cheese tarts are another of the bakes from my Great Bloggers Bake Off final spread. The vibrant colour of the beetroot really cheers me up on a cold day like today. The tarts are perfect as part or a party spread, a dinner party starter, in a lunch box, or as a light meal. Delicious served both warm or cold, you can serve them with new potatoes and a salad or green vegetables for a light meal. When serving them as a starter, I garnish with a handful of rocket – sometimes piled on top chef style – and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar.
Baking the beetroot, onion and goats cheese tart cases blindJump to Recipe
Baking blind is the process of baking a pastry case without the filling. The tins are lined with pastry and then pricked with a fork. Each pastry case is then lined with baking parchment and filled with some baking beans to stop air pockets under the pastry the pastry from bulging up while it is cooked. The pastry is then part baked with the beans in place. After that the beans and paper lining are removed and the pastry is returned to the oven and baked until golden.
Sometimes the pastry may crack a little. Brushing the pastry with a little beaten egg immediately after removing it from the oven will seal it and will later on stop any liquid filling from leaking out. The hot pastry should set the egg layer but, if it has cooled too much and the egg remains wet, simply pop them back into the oven for a minute.
If you have not baked blind before, here is a really helpful video on how to bake blind from the BBC Good Food. You might notice that unlike in the video, I don’t leave my pastry over hanging while the case bakes. In my experience pastry cases are a little prone to breaking when you trim it after baking. As long as you don’t over handle the pastry while rolling out and lining the case(s) the pastry should not shrink. However, if you find your pastry does tend to shrink then you may want to give over hanging the pastry a try. It might just solve your problem.
The tips about scrunching up the parchment and using a small ball of pastry are good ones though.
For little pastry cases you I use plain muffin cupcake cases instead of greaseproof paper or parchment to line the pastry case. They are just the right size. I keep them in the tin I store the baking beans and use them again and again.
Ceramic baking beans heat up in the oven and help to cook the pastry. If you don’t have them, you can use dried beans and pulses or rice. No need to throw them after use, they can be used over and over again.
Step by step Beetroot, Onion and Goats Cheese Tarts
Beetroot, onion and goats cheese tarts
- 250 g plain flour (9oz/2 cups)
- 125 g butter cut into dice (4oz)
- about 2 tbsp cold water
- a little beaten egg
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium beetroot peeled and grated
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 150ml milk (¼ pint /⅔ cup)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 120 g soft goats cheese cut into 8 slices
To make the pastry cases, Place the flour in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to mix to a dough.
- Wrap and allow the dough to relax in a cool place or the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Roll out the pastry and use to line the pastry cases. To avoid over rolling I tend to divide the pastry up into smaller pieces so I don't have to keep re-rolling.
- Prick the base of the tarts with a fork. Line each case with a piece of parchment and fill with baking beans. Chill for at least 30 minutes or pop into the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ /180℃ fan/gas mark 6. Place the pastry cases on a baking tray and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and parchment and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until pale golden.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes. Then add the beetroot and cook until soft, stirring frequently – about 10 minutes.
- Once the pastry cases are baked, reduce the oven temperature to 180℃ /160℃ fan/gas mark 4. Divide the beetroot mixture equally among the pastry cases.
- Beat the eggs and milk together with a fork and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour into the pastry cases. Top with a slice of goats cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the filling is just set.