I’d seen this recipe in my thumbed copy of Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ too many times to flick past it again. I’d heard good things about it…they’re true by the way. The original recipe calls for puff pastry which I think would have tipped me over the edge into food heaven but I used a lighter flaky shortcrust infused with thyme after an indulgent week that just couldn’t handle the butter content of puff. Either pastry is fine but I suggest puff just to do it justice. Agreed, when you read the recipe and see 3 heads of garlic, separated and peeled you may find yourself navigating away to another site. However, there is no need to contemplate taking a half day off work as it really won’t take long and you’ll be rewarded with the benefits on eating. The garlic is sweet and glazed when cooked and teasingly moreish.
- 375g puff pastry, rolled/ 1 quantity of shortcrust pastry flavoured with thyme (optional)
- 3 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 220ml water
- Pinch sugar
- 1 tsp each chopped rosemary and thyme
- 240g goats cheese- a mix of soft and hard or a mix of cheeses if you’re not a goat cheese lover
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 100ml double cream
- 100ml creme fraiche
- Preheat the oven to 180°C . Grease and line a tart tin (about 28cm) and line with the rolled puff pastry. (You can also use a shortcrust pastry which is what I actually did when I made it). Prick all over with a fork and line with a sheet of parchment and some baking beans. Bake blind for about 15-20 minutes until mostly cooked and then remove the beans and parchment and return the case to the oven for 5-10 minutes to allow the base to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the cloves of garlic in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.
- Return the garlic to a clean pan with the a splash of oil and fry for a few minutes on a high heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water, boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the sugar and the herbs and a pinch of salt. Simmer for another 10 minutes until the liquid begins to reduce and turn syrupy. Set aside.
- In a jug, whisk the eggs, creams and plenty of seasoning.
- In the pre-baked tart case, crumble or grate over your choice of cheese and then top with the garlic cloves and syrup. Add some more thyme leaves also if you like.
Fill the gap of the tart with the cream mixture and bake at 160°C for 35-40 minutes until set and golden brown.
I served mine with a fresh rocket and baby cos salad with some griddled courgette slices, toasted pine nuts, wafers of parmesan cheese all dressed lightly with lemon juice and olive oil. Devine!