DAMIEN’S FLAKEY PASTRY
260g plain flour
180g chilled butter
1 egg white
pinch of salt
zest of ½ a lemon (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
50g firm goat’s cheese
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, oven-dried
pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
I have given a recipe for the most incredibly textured pastry I have ever eaten. This is a recipe handed down by my mentor Damien Pignolet, who has been a colleague and good friend for many years. Feel free to use a commercial brand for convenience, just remember to cook the pastry till it’s crisp; you’ll end up with a much better product.
1 Sift the flour and salt into a clean bowl. Grate the butter over the flour. Using your hands, lightly lift the flour through the butter separating all the little clusters, coating butter evenly. Pour on the water. Using the heel of your hand, push the butter into the flour away from yourself. Pull flour and butter back and repeat till flour has absorbed the butter and you are left with dough. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for an hour before using.
2Pre-heat oven to 170˚C. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is 4mm thick. Press into a round 23-27cm tart tin and rest in the refrigerator for a further 10 minutes. Cover the pastry with a piece of baking paper and fill with blind baking weights or rice.
3Blind bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes then remove paper and weights; return to oven for about 5 minutes to finish browning. Brush the hot pastry shell with lightly beaten egg white, to seal any possible cracks, dry in oven for a further 2 minutes.
4Place eggs, cream, white pepper and nutmeg into a medium sized bowl and beat lightly with a fork until well mixed but not aerated (no bubbles). Once all ingredients are mixed, set the bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water, mixing constantly for 2-3 minutes until mixture is lukewarm, but not hot.
5Carefully pour custard into the prepared tart shell, drop oven temperature to 125˚C and bake for 30 minutes. Remove tart and place the goat’s cheese and tomato on top. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. When cooked, the custard filling should still have a slight wobble to it, but not be runny. Allow to cool before serving.
The pure-fruited notes of the J. Moreau et Fils Chablis, along with its lively cut of acidity, bring out the rich creamy texture of the goat cheese in this classic dish. Flinty notes of wet-stone complement the subtle saltiness and textural crunch of the tart base, while the bright notes of green apple, lemon and white nectarine offer freshness and pair harmoniously with the sweet and savoury accents of tomato.