The art of the tart ... and crumble too
Onions and Gruyère cheese, pepped up with thyme, combine in a rich, flavoursome tart, while sharp berries soak up sugar in a buttery crumble
Who doesn’t love a savoury tart or a fruit crumble? Buttery pastry, crisp and rolled to perfection, baked blind to ensure aforementioned crispness and filled with something oozing and delicious. Or a fruity crumble with plenty of fruit, the right amount of acidity and something cool and creamy on top. Warm, or room temperature is best.
I am a very reluctant tart maker, mainly because I hate rolling out pastry (far too impatient) and although I long for things like a delicious quiche Lorraine, greed and time restrictions mean the troops get a frittata instead.
But if the tart is the main event and something really worth waiting for, then I’m happy to oblige, especially with something like this Gruyère and onion tart with thyme.
Gruyère has to be one of the tastiest cheeses and it’s particular flavoursome qualities are handed over to its co-ingredients when cooked. Not all cheeses can stand up to heat as well, but it really shines when added to dishes, especially when eggs, thyme and sweated onions are concerned.
Rich and delicious, it is everything you want from a savoury tart. It’s vegetarian, full of tasty fats and really does only need a crisp salad and a glass of something cool and crisp to go along side.
This is the type of dish that someone very casual, sophisticated and confident would absentmindedly retrieve from the oven and leave to rest while he or she filled you with fascinating snippets of wisdom on the one hand, whilst pouring you a glass of wine with the other. This is a dish that screams domesticity, but in the best way possible.
It is also a dish that arouses some expletives. I think the chosen term was something like, “Sod the diet” when we took it out of the oven at first, although in retrospect, the initial phrase may have been a little more colourful.
The crumble was perfect for summertime fruits. Lots of pitted cherries, a small pack of dried sour cherries (or cranberries) and a couple of punnets of raspberries turn this into something quite lively for summertime.
The addition of cornflour helps ensure the juices that these mega-juicy fruits produce become jammy as opposed to runny and the addition of ground almonds in the crumble goes very well with the cherries.
Both of these dishes are welcome additions to any dinner table and need only the bare minimum of accompaniments, but plenty of good chat.