Cauliflower cheese and smoked bacon tart


Cauliflower cheese and smoked bacon tart

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

What You’ll need:

Plain flour
1 pack readymade shortcrust pastry
Greaseproof paper
Dried beans or ceramic beans to weigh down the pastry
1 small cauliflower broken into small florets
4 rashers smoked bacon roughly chopped
1 onion diced
3 eggs beaten
500ml crème fraiche
Small bunch chives chopped
100g grated strong cheddar
Salt and pepper

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°c, 325°f or gas mark 3.

2. On a floured surface roll the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin gently pushing the pastry into the corners and trimming off the excess.

3. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and weight it down with dried beans or ceramic beans, cook for 15 minutes then remove the beans and greaseproof and cook for a further 8 mins or until the pastry is pale golden.

4. In a pan of boiling water simmer the cauliflower for 5 minutes until it starts to soften then drain and set aside.

5. In a frying pan cook the bacon until brown, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onion in the same pan for 3-4 minutes until soft.

6. Tip the cauliflower, bacon and onions into the pastry shell so they are fairly evenly distributed.

7. In a bowl combine the eggs, crème fraiche, chives and half the cheese and season to taste.

8. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case and top with the remaining cheese. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and it’s cooked through with just a slight wobble in the centre. Serve warm or cold.

Why not try:

To make this a vegetarian option, miss out the bacon and add half a teaspoon of nutmeg to the egg mixture at the start of step 5. Cauliflower also makes a great soup, just cook it in vegetable stock with a chopped onion and a stick of chopped celery then blend till smooth and add a cheesy crouton to serve.