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Juliet Sear's Super Easy Summer Tarts

If you’re heading out for a picnic this weekend, Juliet Sear’s got the perfect dish - she’s making her simple summer tart two ways . Her cheese and tomato version is ideal for a light lunch and can be easily adapted into a fresh (and melt proof!) pudding using sweet and seasonal fruit instead.

Juliet Sear’s super easy summer tarts

Ingredients

For the pastry:

180g plain flour , plus extra for dusting

100g cold unsalted  butter, diced

1 medium egg

½ tsp salt

For the tomato topping: 

300g tomatoes (use a mixture of sizes and colours)

75g strong cheddar, grated  

1 tbsp chopped oregano or thyme or a mix

Sea salt

Black pepper

Beaten egg

For the berry topping:

2 tsp cornflour

30g sugar, plus more for sprinkling

500g mixed berries eg strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cut in half if large

½ tsp vanilla extract

Cream or ice-cream to serve


Method

1. Cut the tomatoes into 5mm thick slices then place into a colander set over a large bowl. Sprinkle over 1 tsp salt and set aside for 1 hr to draw out the moisture.

2. When ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 160C fan, and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment. Now make the pastry - no need to rest and chill this one!

3. Tip the flour, butter and a good pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz to a fine breadcrumb-like consistency. Beat the egg in a jug, then tip into the processor and pulse to a soft dough – if it seems dry, add ½ tsp cold water at a time until it comes together.

4. Knead the pastry briefly, pat into a round then roll out on a lightly floured surface to begin with, then before the pastry is fully rolled out, transfer it to the parchment lined tray and continue rolling out to a roughly 30cm circle.

5. For the savoury version: sprinkle on half the grated cheese, arrange the tomatoes, add fresh thyme and more cheese and leave a border around the edge. Season.

6. Brush the exposed pastry border with some beaten egg, then fold the border up so it slightly overlaps the tomato filling. 

7. For the sweet version, sprinkle the cornflour, sugar and vanilla over the berries. Toss with your hands to combine and coat.

8. Arrange berry mixture in the centre of chilled dough and spread out evenly, leaving a border. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg.

9. Bake the tarts for about 40 - 50 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the fillings have softened and browned a little. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving and serve warm.

10. Top the savoury with a few fresh herbs to garnish and serve with a salad, and serve the sweet version with cream or ice cream.

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