Leek & Eggplant Tart Tartin

C&C 2009 tart

Ingredients

2 fat leeks – mostly white part sliced into 3cm ‘batons’

¼ cup verjuice

1 large aubergine

Evoo for frying

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram

Sugar syrup

½ cup water

½ cup verjuice

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon vino cotto

1 quantity Sour cream pastry

120g Goats Curd cheese

Evoo (extra virgin olive oil) for finish

2 tablespoon freshly chopped mint

Method

Heat a little evoo in an oven proof frying pan, add the leek batons, cut side down and allow to caramelize before turning over and caramelizing on the other side.

Transfer to an oven previously heated to 180C until just tender.

Once tender remove from the oven and set aside until needed – approximately 10 minutes.

Cut the aubergine into large chunks, place in a bowl of well salted water and leave to soak for 30 minutes – this reduces the amount of oil that the aubergine takes up when frying.

Rinse the aubergine pieces and dry in a clean tea towel. Season with salt.

Add a splash of evoo to another larger pan and colour the aubergine on all sides adding a little more oil as the pan dries out.

Deglaze with verjuice and cook till all moisture absorbed.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and verjuice and reduce until syrupy, about a quarter of a cup.

Add the vino cotto and set aside to cool slightly.

Roll out the pastry and cut to size of the frying pan that the leeks were cooked in, with a generous overlap.

To assemble the tart tatin use the ovenproof frying pan that the leeks were cooked in – dot the aubergine around the leeks, drizzle with the sugar syrup, add the chopped herbs and cover with pastry, tucking the edges in.

Bake at 200C for ten minutes then reduce to 180C for 30-35 minutes.

Allow to cool then turn out onto a large platter.

Garnish with freshly chopped mint and some dobs of soft goats curd on top, and a dribble of evoo.

Chef:  Maggie Beer

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