So I mentioned in my last post that we’ve been enjoying a good supply of courgettes this year – and some of them have been whoppers! Like, basically marrows (though not sure quite at what point a courgette becomes a marrow). When they’re that big, they’re less good for sautéeing or grilling and so that’s why most of them ended up grated up into cake. I decided I wanted to make a savoury something for lunch instead of yet more cake and so this recipe was born.
The first time I made this, instead of making one big tart I made lots of mini ones using a muffin tray and some filo pastry. They were so good! But sometimes I’d rather just make a full sized tart and dig in. I also wanted to try out my new rectangular flan tin!
So for this tart I made some regular salted shortcrust pastry. The filling is a gorgeous mixture of grated courgette and fresh corn sautéed briefly in some garlic and herb butter and then mixed with some eggs, cheese and spring onions. This tart is full of flavour and is perfect for a picnic or even just a simple lunch with a salad at home. It’s a great way to use up that last glut of summer produce!
The smell of the garlic butter when the courgettes are sautéeing is irresistible! I used coriander in my tart as that is what I had available but you could use pretty much any herb that takes your fancy.
Courgette and Sweetcorn Tart
For the pastry
- 225 g plain flour
- 115 g butter fridge-cold
- 5 tablespoons milk or water
For the filling
- 1 large or 2-3 medium courgettes roughly 600g
- 25 g butter
- 2 tablespoons coriander chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 ear of fresh corn
- 3 large eggs
- 50 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 4 spring onions
- 50 g extra mature cheddar cheese grated, plus more to top
- pinch of chilli flakes optional
- salt and pepper
For the pastry
- Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add them to the flour. Rub the butter gently into the flour, using your thumbs and forefingers, taking care not to overwork. Stop when you still have some small lumps of butter remaining - roughly the size of peas.
- Add the milk (or water) and stir roughly with a round-bladed knife. Using your hands, gently push the mixture together to form a rough dough and then turn out onto a very lightly floured work surface. Gently work into a smooth dough by pressing with your fingers and folding the dough onto itself a few times. Don't overdo this. You just want to make sure that the dough is uniform in appearance. Flatten into a disc and wrap in greaseproof paper. Place in the fridge to rest for about an hour.
- After the dough has rested, roll out so that it's just larger than your baking tin (I used a 12x8" rectangular flan tin but you could easily use a round 9" or 10" tin). Roll the pastry back up over your rolling pin and use this to transfer it to the tin. Starting at one end, unroll the pastry so that it is draped over the tin. Gently press the pastry into the tin. Try not to stretch the pastry - if you lift the edges you can press it into the tin without stretching. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the edge of the tin. Place back into the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes, but up to an hour is preferable.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Once the pastry case has rested, place a piece of greaseproof paper inside. Fill this with baking beans, or rice, and pop into the preheated oven to blind bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the base is beginning to set and the pastry is holding its shape. After this time, remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry has dried out and is beginning to turn golden. Set aside in the tin and leave the oven on.
For the filling
- Start by grating the courgette. You can use a coarse box grater for this, although I prefer to use the coarse grater attachment on my food processor for ease. Place the grated courgette into a colander, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and leave to drain for 5-10 minutes. After this time, squeeze out the excess moisture from the courgette.
- Heat 25g butter in a large frying pan. Crush or grate the garlic and briefly fry this in the butter - roughly 30 seconds. Add the 2 tablespoon chopped coriander followed by the squeezed out grated courgette and fry briefly for a few minutes. Slice the kernels from the corn on the cob and add these to the pan. Continue to fry until all of the moisture has evaporated from the pan - the mixture won't colour at all. This should take 5-10 minutes total. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Finely slice the spring onions and add these to the mixture. Stir in the cooled courgette mixture and the grated cheese. Add the chilli flakes, if using.
- Pour this mixture into the pre-baked pastry case. Sprinkle some more grated cheese and chilli flakes on top, if liked.
- Bake at 180ºC for 25-30 minutes, until the mixture has set and the top is golden brown.