Saturday, 2 August 2014

Courgette and sundried tomato tartlets

So I know it's been a long time since I have posted anything. The food blog has certainly had to step aside while I have been focusing on crafting. I am trying to find my inspiration in the kitchen at the moment, most of the time struggling and failing miserably. Today we had pizza for dinner, and I'm ashamed to admit it wasn't even home made pizza, it was store bought. With some fro-yo for dessert. I'm a very embarrassed food blogger at the moment. Writing this post did inspire me to dig out some new recipes to try this weekend, so I may not be a completely lost case afer all.

For me, my blogs have also always been a fun hobby, which is why I haven't forced myself to publish recently as I haven't felt the inspiration. I keep reading blog posts about how to be a good blogger and grow your blog and they all say one thing - be consistent about your posting schedule. So, to provide some sort of consistency and to make it easier for my readers to know what to expect, I have decided to gear down the food blog a notch and aim to publish once a week here on the food blog, and two or three times a week on the craft blog. Expect a new food post on Saturdays (or Sundays if Saturday manages to fly by...). I am working on adding an email subscription for the blog to make it even easier to keep track of my rather sporadic posting schedule. I will also start using my Instagram feed more. And there is always the InvisiblePinkFacebook, I always link new blog posts over there. And I Pin all my recipes on Pinterest as well (along with lots of other great recipes I come across). So I hope you will keep in touch through one of those channels and keep coming back to read my random thoughts on life and cooking.

And then onto the main star of today. I have become so lazy lately and I usually always use store bought pastry if I'm making pies. The day I made these little tartlets, the great thing was that I wasn't planning on making anything. However, we had a courgette in the garden which looked like it might be ready for the picking and we wanted to rescue before our insatiable slugs would have it for a light night snack. I decided I wanted to make little courgette and sun-dried tomato tartlets so I had to make my own pastry. I know it's not that hard, I have made it many times before. And once again I was reminded that there is no point in buying the store bough stuff as the home-made is infinitely better. There is just no comparison! I used this recipe from The Purple Spoon and it turned out to be a winner! I don't see any reason to repeat the recipe here, so click over to the Purple Spoon for instructions for the flakiest and most tasty pie crust ever!!

Courgette and sundried tomato tartlets (makes 4):
Pie crust (for 4 pies, make half the recipe or freeze the other half to use later)
1 small courgette
4 sundried tomato halves in oil
black pepper
dried thyme
2-3 tbsp finely grated cheddar
1-2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
1 tbsp oil from the sundried tomatoes

The howto:
Prepare the pie crust as described in the post (or use a store bought one). Make sure to prepare the crust in time as you need to let it chill for at least 1/2 hour before rolling.

Bake crusts blind for about 15 minutes, and then take out of the oven. Add courgette slices and sundried tomato, and sprinkle with black pepper and thyme. Drizzle a few drops of the tomato oil onto the pies. Sprinkle cheddar and parmesan on top and bake for another 10 minutes. All done!

The verdict:
I have no idea why this pie crust turned out completely different from most of my pie crusts. It must be the repeated rolling and folding, because I have never in my life produced such a flaky and perfect pie crust. Part of the reason for success may also be that I finally took the time to properly chill the crust before rolling it. One thing I need to do is get some beans to weigh down the crust while baking it, as it did shrink off the edges of the pie tins during the first bake. I know, I'm a bad, bad pastry chef... I promise I will get a big bag of beans when I go grocery shopping today!!

The tartlets turned out very tasty and I will certainly make them again as we are getting quite a load of courgettes from the garden currently.

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