Buckwheat, courgette and herb tart
Milled from whole buckwheat, buckwheat flour is a delicious, nutty and robust addition to savoury pastry. Naturally gluten free, it works perfectly in this tart, packed full of vibrant herbs, in season courgette and heavenly free-range eggs. Serve with a big leafy salad, or if sat tight-knit on an inevitably too-small picnic blanket, eat by the slice like pizza!
For the pastry:
125g gluten-free plain flour
75g buckwheat flour
Pinch of salt
1 level tsp xanthan gum
100g butter, cold
1 large egg
For the filling:
3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
150ml lactose free cream
1 medium courgette, grated
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
100g mature Cheddar, finely grated
Grating of nutmeg
Start by making the pastry. Whisk the egg with 15ml milk and put into the fridge to chill. Sift the flours and salt into a bowl with the xanthan gum. Add the butter to the flour mixture and using two cutlery knives and working in a scissor action, cut the butter into the flour, keeping the knives in contact.
Once the butter has been broken down to small pea-sized pieces, use your fingertips to gently rub the flour and little pieces of butter together, until the mixture resembles pale breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a food processor and pulse the ingredients to reach this stage (I find this so much easier as I have such hot hands!) If using a food processor, tip the ingredients out into a large bowl at this point.
Retrieve your whisked egg and milk from the fridge and stir the liquid into the flour mixture, distributing as quickly as possible with a cutlery knife. If the pastry is still too dry and won’t come together, add a tiny bit more milk, little by little.
Use the flat of the knife to bring the dough together, then pull the pastry together with your hands and shape it into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour, or ideally overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Lightly (gluten free) flour a piece of baking parchment and roll out the pastry into a disk that’s big enough to cover a 9inch tart tin. Lift the pastry onto your rolling pin, then over the tin, pressing it into the sides. Trim any excess, prick with a fork, then line with baking paper and baking beans or rice. Blind-bake for 15-20 minutes or so until the pastry has no grey patches and feels crisp and sandy to the touch.
Mix the eggs in a large bowl with the cream, grated courgette, chopped herbs and cheese. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Once cooked, take the pastry case out of the oven and remove the beans/rice and paper. Place onto a baking tray.
Turn the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and just set.