Head bent over her homework, and without lifting her gaze, The Princess says to me “That tart is really yummy!”. I’m confused. The remains of the Sweet Potato and Feta Tart I had eaten for lunch appeared to be as I had left them. “Oh, I cut a sliver off the end.”
What must be realised about this interaction is that The Princess’s default comment of late regarding any food placed in front of her is ‘yuck’. So this was high praise indeed. Her finesse in removing a sliver of tart without leaving a trace also gives me great hope for a future medical career.
In my mind, tarts are a high maintenance dish, and as such I don’t make them all that often. Making the pastry and filling separately, before combining both to finish the meal, always seems like a little too much work for me. It is only once I start making a tart that I remember how easy they really are.
I do probably make life a little harder for myself by making my own pastry, when it would be so much simpler to purchase it. If I am organised enough, I make the pastry the day before I require it. This allows the pastry to rest overnight in the fridge, ready to be rolled out the next day. Don’t want to make your own pastry? Buy a good shortcrust pastry, made with quality ingredients, instead. If you are in Australia, I use and highly recommend Careme’s Sour Cream Shortcrust.
My other get-ahead tip for this Sweet Potato and Feta Tart is to roast the sweet potato beforehand. If the oven is already on for dinner, I can quickly chop the sweet potato and put it in the oven at the same time. Roasted vegetables will last for two to three days in the fridge, so taking advantage of the pre-heated oven saves time on the day I wish to assemble the tart.
This tart is the perfect place to use that jar of Caramelised Onions you already have in the fridge or freezer. I did promise I would drop in a few more ideas to use those Kitchen Basics, didn’t I? A few tablespoons of caramelised onions spread over the base of the tart add significant flavour for very little work.
Depending on the amount of filling in the tart, and the size of the tart tin, you may find yourself with a little leftover savoury custard. Roll out any leftover scraps of pastry to make small individual tarts. I have small tart cases, but a muffin tin will suffice. Bake the small tarts in the same manner as detailed in the recipe, using whatever you have in the fridge to fill the tarts. Chopped ham, grated cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes or a little pesto all work well.
A simple tart makes a very handy lunch or light dinner. Tarts can be made in advance, served hot or cold, and are completely portable. I’ve been spurred on by the success of my Sweet Potato and Feta Tart, and plan to make more in the future. Now I’ve said that publicly, keep an eye out for further tart recipes as the weather begins to warm up.
I used a 12cm x 35cm tart tin with a removable base. A 22cm circular tart tin should work just as well.
- 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 - 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (to equal 1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary)
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Place the sweet potato in a large bowl and set aside.
- Roughly chop the garlic and then the rosemary.
- Mix the rosemary and garlic together on the chopping board, then continue mincing the herbs and garlic until they are both finely chopped.
- Scatter the rosemary mixture over the sweet potato.
- Drizzle over the olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.
- Toss everything together until the sweet potato cubes are well covered with oil.
- Spread evenly on a baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is starting to brown and is just cooked.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan forced)
- Roll out the pastry to fit your tart tin.
- Gently line the tin with the pastry.
- Place a piece of baking paper over the pastry and fill the tin with dried rice or beans, or pastry weights if you have them.*
- Bake the tart for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the edges of the tart turn a light, golden colour.
- Remove the weights and the baking paper.
- Reduce the oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
- Continue to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the base of the tart has set and lightly brown.
- Remove the tart shell from the oven.
- Whisk the cream, milk, egg, egg yolk, and salt & pepper together in a jug.
- Set aside.
- Set the oven to 190C (170C).
- Place the tart shell on a baking tray.
- Spread the caramelised onions in a thin layer over the base of the tart shell.
- Evenly distribute the sweet potato over the caramelised onions.
- Scatter the feta cheese over the sweet potato, allowing it to fall into the gaps between the sweet potato.
- Gently fill the tart shell ⅔ full of custard.
- Place the tart in the oven (still on the baking tray) and fill the tart shell with the remaining custard#.
- Bake the tart for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 180C (160C)
- Continue to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the tart is golden and the middle is just set.
- Remove the tart from the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
#If you have any custard left over, make small tarts with leftover pastry scraps and any fillings you have in your fridge.