Pumpkin, cherry tomato and blue cheese tart

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Awesomesauce: a term only suitable when referring to actual sauce. Or possibly, possibly, when referring to picnics. Which are, in my opinion, awesome, and which may contain traces of sauce. The only problem with picnics is how much room there is for things to go horribly wrong. The beauty of nature can be utterly demoralising, covering you in equal parts rain and ants. But it wasn’t nature that got the better of me last Thursday as I embarked on an evening of outdoor “dining”. It was my oven.

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Having assembled this vegetable tart well in advance, even remembering to pre-heat the oven, I was pretty sure I had things down. I checked on the tart about 20 minutes in. It didn’t seem as well cooked as I had anticipated, but if I turned up the heat it would still probably be done in plenty of time. So that’s what I did, returning another 20 minutes later to a still barely baked tart. Ugh. Clearly the oven had decided to quit making things hot. Well done, oven: 1 stars (It did attempt to cook the tart for a few minutes).

Going into fuck-the-picnic-is-in-15-minutes gear I shoved it in the microwave, cooked it for six minutes, then turned on the grill, took out the tray and let the tart sit in there with the door closed for roughly ten more minutes. For a moment it looked like the tart wouldn’t make it. The top was cooked, but when tilted to one side it would leak white liquid. I turned the grill off and left the tart inside while I hurriedly threw together some tomato and pesto salad instead. When the salad was assembled, I decided to check the tart one last time, just to be sure. And it was done! About 15 minutes late, I scurried off the park with my blanket, camera and miraculously cooked creation, to sit, eat and get overly enthusiastic about dogs with my friends.

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Shit: the park is a delight, the tart was a delight, I have no idea what I’m going to do without an oven, but maybe it’ll be OK.

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Ingredients:

1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
300g diced pumpkin
200g cherry tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
100g blue cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
3 eggs
1 sprig rosemary

Directions:

Arrange one sheet of shortcrust pastry to cover surface of tart dish. Use more if you need. Or go wild and make your own pastry! Cut pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. Dice onion. Arrange tomatoes, pumpkin and onion in pastry. Crumble blue cheese on top. Whisk together eggs and cream with salt and pepper. Pour this over tart. Arrange rosemary on top.

Note:

I can’t accurately tell you how long to cook this for, but I’d guess maybe 40 minutes. Wiggle the tart around to see if it’s cooked all the way through. Or do what I did and tilt it, to see if it’s not just cooked on top. If it does look cooked on top but is not done on the bottom you can put foil over it to stop the top burning.

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