I’m told there are people who don’t like anchovies. Gah, who are you sickos?! I do get it I guess, it’s a BIG BIG flavour. There is a distinct difference between a white anchovy and those grimy, pasty brown things you get in tins & jars and on pizzas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly eat and enjoy the grimy pasty type too, because I’m a disgusting human being with a gut made of steel. Unlike those brown tinned/jarred versions however, the white anchovy is a delicate, slightly salty, slightly fishy slick of yumness.
I’m not suggesting you eat it raw or in a big chunk if it’s your first time. Don’t pop your cherry on the big leagues, start with something subtle, where the anchovy is just hinting at it’s existence, like the gentlest kiss on the back of the neck, barely touching the skin… ahem, well, that just went somewhere unexpected. ok ok, anchovies… what was I saying? Right so, in this tart, the onions are so sweet and the goats cheese bold so the anchovies stand as equal partner not a wild dominatrix bearing down on you with a whip.
If you really can’t give anchovies a go, I suppose you could consider them optional for this dish. Sigh.
With this one, it helps, but is not mandatory, if you make the onion jam the day before. For example, I made it to have on hamburgers for dinner one night and used the remainder the following night in this tart.
The pastry recipe is adapted from Maggie Beer’s foolproof sour-cream shortcrust.
- 500g of red or brown onions, peeled and halved
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 10g salt
- 25g olive oil
- 15g soy sauce
- 25g white wine vinegar
- 50g sugar
- a few sprigs of thyme
- 300g butter, cubed
- 400g plain flour
- 150g sour cream
- 100g cheddar cheese, chopped
- 2 pinches of salt
- 10g parmesan cheese, cubed
- 200g cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 30g milk
- 400g onion jam
- a serious grind of pepper
- 50g feta cheese
- 50g goats cheese (the un-ashed variety)
- 100g white anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
- 26cm tart tin
- baking sheet
- Place onions, garlic, salt and oil in the mixing bowl.
- Blitz for 4 secs/speed 5. You want it pretty chunky, not smooth
- Saute 8 mins/100//speed 1
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar
- Mix 2 secs//speed 2
- Cook 14 mins/100°C//speed 1/MC off
- Refrigerate (overnight if possible)
- Place butter and flour in the bowl and blitz 8 secs/speed 6. Don’t let it go any longer – you want minimal working of that flour.
- Add sour cream and process 6 secs/speed 6
- Remove and form into a ball
- Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190c
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 3mm thickness
- Place into the tart tin and put the tin onto the baking sheet (I speak from experience – don’t forgo the baking sheet – you don’t want to have to pull the tart tin out of the oven by itself because guaranteed you will drop that tart on the ground)
- Grab a fork and dot that tart all over. This stops the base from forming air bubbles
- Wack it in the oven for 10 minutes
- Reduce the oven temperature to 190c
- Place the parmesan cheese in the bowl and mill for 10 secs/speed 8
- Add the cream cheese, eggs and milk
- Mix for 6 secs/speed 5 or until smooth
- Spread the tart with the onions
- Chop the feta into a small dice
- Sprinkle the feta around the tart
- Pour the egg mixture over the top
- Array the anchovies in a lovely ring around the tart
- Grind pepper on top
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, till golden
- Sit for 10 minutes before slicing
Delicious with a roasted capsicum, fennel and tomato salad.
If you have any leftover egg mixture, as I did, I had some premade store puff pastry in the freezer so I cut them into squares and put them in muffin tins, I then added some onion, egg mixture, goats cheese and anchovy on top. Baked yumness.