I love it when my children decide that they want to try a new flavour or food that they have never tried before. I also find they are more willing to taste a new food if we are cooking with it. This was how they all ended up tasting blue wenslydale cheese and it is what led to me making this Cranberry, Bacon and Brie Tart with Atticus. I must say it was quite a feat to convince him not to eat all the brie as we were slicing it for the top of the tart! I was quite surprised that he liked it and was planning of giving the children beans on toast if he turned up his nose at the cheese, but it turns out I needn’t have been concerned, the boy definitely loves his cheese!
This tart can be made in several different ways and as I am a huge fan of experimenting in the kitchen so I like to mix up the recipe that I use for the pastry and how I put the filling together. This time round we put more bacon in the filling and I relied on the sheer volume of meet in the tart to keep it all together, but you could use less bacon and a couple of eggs and make it more like a brie topped bacon quiche. The latter option would provide greater structural integrity for the tart. We decided to use a scone-like recipe for the pastry and the quantities below make a generous batch which will leave you with a bit left over after covering a 23cm diameter pie dish or very tall or thick sides. If you prefer you could use a short crust pastry recipe, but this one is so simple to put together with children that I do recommend that you give this one a go. Atticus enjoys getting his hands sticky so he happily mixed this all together with his hands, but you could also do it with a wooden spoon. If you would like you can add some parmesan to the pastry to add an extra layer of depth to the flavour, but it isn’t necessary.
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 100ml milk
- 40g melted butter
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp cranberry sauce
- 1 small onion
- 8 slices of bacon (or 4 slices of bacon and 2 medium eggs to make it a quiche)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 200g brie
- Preheat the over to 180°c.
- Put the plain flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder into a bowl. Combine the milk, melted butter and egg in a jug or cup.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands. It will be a sticky dough so flour a silicone baking mat (easier to transfer the dough). Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it is a little bit larger than the size of the pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish and carefully remove the silicone baking mat and gently press the dough into the pie dish. Atticus enjoyed helping with this bit, but close supervision was required as he was becoming a little over enthusiastic during the transfer process and as a result our pastry cracked a bit and we ended up with thick edges following a repair job.
- Blind bake the pastry (baking parchment and baking beans on top of it) for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the bacon with scissors. Atticus did this while I chopped the onion. Fry the onion and the bacon with a clove of garlic and season and put to one side. If you would prefer to make this tart more like a quiche, beat a couple of eggs into bacon and onion mixture. Slice the brie into slithers.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and spread the cranberry sauce over the bottom of it with the back of a spoon. The cranberry sauce was also a new flavour to Atticus and he eagerly licked the spoon used to spread it after he had finished covering the case. Pour the bacon mixture into the pastry case and arrange the brie on top to cover it.
- Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.