I love sports and competition (it is an eldest child thing);
I swear like a trooper and am not easily offended (it is a lawyer thing); and
I am super-organised and bring along lots of vegetable treats to go along with the BBQ’d meats (it is a woman and a lawyer thing).
The stand out dish of the lunch spread was my Cheats Goat Cheese Tart. Crunchy pastry filled with eggs, cream, baby spinach, roast pumpkin and tangy Main Ridge Dairy Goats Cheese (which is produced locally in the Mornington Peninsula, just a few hours outside of Melbourne). I used the caprinella, which has a similar texture to feta cheese.
This Cheats Goats Cheese Tart is really easy to throw together as you use ready-made frozen short crust pastry for the base. The recipe can also be modified to use whatever vegetables you have lying around. In the past I have made a leek, mushroom and garlic version, as well as a caramelised onion version with success. If you are having friends over, you can also make individual tarts by cutting the pastry into rounds and baking in a muffin tray.
Cheats Goat Cheese Tart
- 2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry (I used Borgs brand, which can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets)
- 25g butter, to grease the baking tin
- 6 free range eggs
- 1/4 cup thickened cream
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/4 pumpkin (I used Kent)
- Large handful baby spinach leaves
- 200g goats cheese feta or caprinella
(Note: For the Leek and Mushroom Version, replace the pumpkin and baby spinach with 1 leek and 4 field mushrooms, sautéed in olive oil and butter over low heat until golden brown and starting to stick to the bottom on the pan)
- Take the frozen shortcrust pastry out of the freezer to defrost.
- Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
- Peel and chop the pumpkin into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until tender and beginning to turn golden brown on the edges.
- Grease a 20cm cake tin, or deep dish pie tin with the butter. Line base and side of tin with pastry. For best results you may want to roll the 2 sheets of puff pastry together to form 1 large sheet before lining the tin. Let the excess pastry overhang for a ‘rustic’ home style look.
- Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry. Top the baking paper with a lawyer of dried beans or rice (to act as pastry weights). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper, dried beans or rice.
- Whisk together the eggs, thickened cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Place the baby spinach on the base of the pastry. Then randomly scatter the baked pumpkin on top of the spinach. Pour over the whisked egg mixture. Crumble the goats cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the egg mixture has set and goats cheese has started to colour. Stand for 10 minutes. Remove from baking tin. Serve immediately, or cool on wire rack if you plan to serve it cold.