smoked haddock tart

This tart was the result of a supermarket sweep-style dash around Stockbridge farmers’ market in Edinburgh, a seasonal haul that immediately suggested a tart. Scottish produce is brilliant, and the market has a particularly good fish stall. You don’t need to muck around when you’ve got such great ingredients. For this you can use either a fluted 10 x 32cm rectangular tart tin or a fluted 20cm round tart tin.

makes 1 tart

for the pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g salted butter, chilled, cubed, plus extra for greasing
2 separate free-range egg yolks, each beaten

for the filling
200g crème fraîche
2 free-range eggs
2 spring onions, very finely sliced
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
40g watercress, roughly chopped
250g smoked haddock, skin removed and flesh roughly chopped
buttered new potatoes, to serve

01 sift the flour into a large bowl. Add a pinch of flaked sea salt and the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Put one of the beaten egg yolks in a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of cold water and mix well. Add 2 tbsp of the mixture to the flour and mix with the blade of a knife to form a firm dough, adding more of the mixture to bring the dough together if needed. Bring together with your hands to form a ball. Knead briefly on a clean flour-dusted work surface, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

02 remove the pastry from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes. Grease your tart tin. dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the pastry out into a rectangle or circle, depending on the shape of your tin, about 1mm–2mm thick and larger than your tin.

03 lay the pastry into the greased tin and press into the fluted edges. Make sure the pastry is pushed right in and is of an even thickness all the way round. Trim off any excess by rolling your rolling pin across the top of the tin. Use the excess pastry to plug any tears or gaps (don’t worry, this often happens). Use a fork to prick a few holes in the base of the pastry, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This is an essential stage.

04 heat the oven to 180c (200c non-fan). Scrunch up some greaseproof paper, open up, smooth out and put into the chilled pastry case, then fill with baking beans or raw rice and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, take out the paper and beans or rice, then brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg yolk. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

05 to make the filling, whisk together the crème fraîche, eggs, spring onions, wholegrain mustard, a pinch of black pepper and the watercress in a large jug. Spread the haddock over the pastry base and pour over the mixture. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the filling is set and the top is starting to brown.