There is not often an awful lot inside the freezer. Coffee beans, a batch of vanilla ice cream and any other of Italian lemon sorbet (I blend them, try it), blackcurrants for yogurt smoothies, a bag of damsons for breakfast compotes, some frozen peas and a packet of emergency crumpets. And every other element: a sheet of all-butter puff pastry. A pastry that I thaw and roll as thinly as I dare, scatter with nuggets of crisp pancetta, butter-softened shallots, a grating of parmesan or fontina and some sprigs of thyme, then bake till the edges are puffed and golden. A tart I can slide directly on to a timber board and produce out for lunch.
Deep tarts, the ones blind-baked pastry instances filled with deep and quivering savory custard, onions and lardons of bacon, are all properly and good after I’m inside the temper to bake, but they are something of a performance in contrast to the benefit of a pant pastry tart. Both have their vicinity in my kitchen, however, the parchment-thin puff pastry model is the one I make most usually, no doubt because of the fact I even have most of the elements almost completely handy.
Though tempting, it’s far a mistake to load up the pastry with thick layers of cheese and vegetables. The pleasure of such baking is that it’s far mild and crisp, traits that you risk dropping with too heavy or wealthy a filling. The time spent within the oven is short, so bacon, mushrooms, etc need to be cooked in short first, then scattered over the uncooked pastry just earlier than baking.
This week I made sweet muffins, too. Banana pastries, baked twice, as soon as to prepare dinner them to a crisp honey gold and, secondly, to add a sticky maple syrup glaze. We need not prevent at bananas; thin slices of poached apricots (even those from a tin) are well worth considering, as would be a handful of blueberries. Almost worth having a freezer for.
Pancetta, thyme and fontina tart
You can upload different ingredients here. A few mushrooms, sliced thinly and sautéed with butter, garlic leaves, and thyme are a possibility, as are skinny slices of cherry tomato, basil oil, and spring onion. Cheese is fine delivered in small amounts and finely grated, in any other case you may as nicely make pizza.
Makes 2 thin muffins
pancetta 250g, in a single piece
olive oil five tbsp
thyme 20 small sprigs
puff pastry 250g
Set the oven at 220C/gasoline mark eight. Remove any thick pores and skin from the pancetta and cut the meat into a small cube, without pieces larger than 0.5cm. Pour the olive oil in a shallow pan, the area the discarded pancetta skin inside the oil – its fats will enhance the oil – and heat lightly. Peel and halve the shallots then cube finely and upload to the pan collectively with the cubed pancetta.
As the shallot softens and the pancetta sizzles, stir often, shifting the whole lot spherical the pan from time to time. Add the leaves from half of-of the thyme.
Coarsely grate the fontina. Cut the pastry in half of and roll out every sheet to a rectangle measuring 32cm x 20cm. Place an empty baking sheet within the oven. Line a second baking sheet with baking parchment.