I love to treat myself to new cookbooks. They're really the only books I'll invest in. I think it kind of wasteful to purchase a novel one will only read once. (Still an old fashioned library lover.) When I gift myself a new one, I'll read it cover to cover, and become a little obsessed for a few weeks or so. The latest cookbook to make it on to my pantry shelf is Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen, and it's really wonderful! It has a gorgeous layout and gorgeously elegant and simple modernised French dishes. For the moment I'll I want to do is cook French food.
Mini tarts (one savory and one sweet) inspired by Rachel's recipes. (I'm not very good at following directions, and form recipes to my needs, with ingredients I have on hand.) But I really really liked her easy pie dough recipe (which you can use for both!)
Rachel's Pie Dough: (makes 4 mini tarts or one large tart.)
• 90g soft butter
• 1 tsp sugar
• a pinch of salt
• 180g plain flour
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 Tbsp ice cold water
Mix all ingredients together in bowl with wooden spoon. (Don't over mix!) Once combined, form a circle and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
Roll out dough to a 5mm thickness and place into mini tart forms (or one large tart form.) Brush with the extra egg whites.
For the savory filling: Bacon chunks, chestnut mushroom slices, and red onion. I softened these ingredients first in a frying pan with a little oil, vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Place in forms. Then combine the rest of the egg whites with a tablespoon of creme fraiche and pour over filling. Top with a pinch of chopped parsley. Bake for about 15min at 180°C.
For the sweet filling: (inspired by Rachel's Tart Tatin) for 2 mini tarts
• 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and thinly sliced.
• Salted Caramel (50g sugar, 1 knob butter, and 1 tsp salt.)
Place apple slices in tart form that's been brushed with egg whites. To make the caramel melt the sugar a little at a time in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the sugar has gone a dark brown color add butter and pinch of salt. Pour over apples and bake for about 15mins at 180°C.