Finding Comfort: The endless appeal of a tart

Posted at October 30, 2011 by 0 Comment


When faced with October’s theme of “Comfort” I have to admit that I was flummoxed; surely almost all good food is comforting in some way or another?

So I had to think long and hard (and sample a few treats along the way) before coming to my final topic.

At first, I thought of cakes, an all time favourite, and then to apple crumble, that age-old mix of sugar, warmth and love, but what finally satisfied every need in my cold October bones was something warm, moist, crisp, filling and savoury…

The endlessly versatile tart.

Now, the image I’ve chosen for this post is of a particularly sumptuous savoury tart from Mimi’s Bakehouse in Leith. However, one of the things that I love about tarts/quiches is that you can gain complete gratification from them however simple a recipe you choose to follow. I’ll often get home after a hard day’s work, fling some feta, root vegetables, oil and herbs onto a bit of puff pastry and voila – after only a short period you’ve got a comforting and filling meal fit for kings.

A great tart recipe

At the end of August I brought my friends together for an afternoon tea and, being avid fans of The Great British Bake Off, we made Jason’s Smoked Salmon and Pak Choi Quiche. If there is anyone out there looking to make a variety of tart that is most impressive and easy to make then I would definitely recommend it.

Afternoon Tea - Total Food Geeks Edinburgh

Smoked Salmon and Pak Choi Quiche/Tart

Time it takes: 30 mins+ to prepare, 1-2hrs to cook
Number of people served: Six or more
Difficulty: Easy if you don’t make the pastry, slightly more difficult if you do!

What you will need…

For the pastry – Although I admit that we didn’t make the pastry ourselves due to the amount of items we needed to bake overall!

- 250g/9oz plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 150g/5½oz butter, softened
- 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling

- 400g/14oz salmon fillets, skinned
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 free-range eggs
- 300ml/10fl oz double cream
- 2 pak choi, sliced in half lengthways


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.


To make the pastry, mix the flour, salt and sesame seeds in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre.

Beat together the butter and half the beaten eggs in a small bowl and gradually mix into the flour mixture to make a soft dough. Lightly knead the dough on a floured board until smooth then wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Roll the pastry out on a floured board and line a greased 23cm/9in loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes then prick the base with a fork, line with aluminium foil and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Remove the foil and baking beans, brush the base of the tart case with the remaining beaten egg from the pastry ingredients and bake for five more minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180C/350F/Gas 4.


To make the filling, season the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until just cooked through. Allow the fish to cool a little then flake the flesh into small pieces.

…And put it all together

Arrange the salmon over the base of the tart case and drizzle over the soy sauce.

Mix the eggs with the cream in a jug, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then pour three quarters of the mixture over the salmon. Arrange the pak choi on top, cut side up, and pour over the remaining egg mixture. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the filling is golden brown and just set.

Delicious! My eternal thanks go to BBC Two for the wonderful show and the scrummy recipe!

Photo credits: myself and Clashing Time

Category : Recipes,Themed
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About Georgia

To me, food means great comfort, enticement, fun, joy, and almost always making a mess. Edinburgh is my haven; we've enough eateries and food fanatics to keep every waking hour of life deliciously fulfilled. You'll find me discussing the delights of baking, discovering our city's restaurants and devouring homely comforts. I geek out over: culinary events, foodie photos and my grannie's fairy cakes Twitter: @ideaspotting Blog:

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