This recipe seems more complicated than it is because cooking the garlic is an extra step in making the filling. Don’t be put off by how much garlic there is – it mellows as well as softens as it roasts.
Tarts are about components – the pastry, the custard and whatever goes into the custard. Think of it like this and the tart immediately becomes easier to make.
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ chilling ¦ Cooking time: 2 hours
- 3 heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled (about 35 cloves)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 6 spring onions, trimmed at the base
- 370g all-butter puff pastry
- 200ml double cream
- 100ml crème fraîche
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 75g goat’s milk gouda (or other hard goat’s cheese), coarsely grated
- Leaves from 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
- 125g soft goat’s cheese, broken into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 160C/ 150C fan*/gas mark 3.
- To roast the garlic, put a double layer of foil in a roasting tin and scatter over the garlic cloves. Add 1 tbsp of the oil and all the balsamic vinegar, season well and toss with your hands. Pull the foil up all around the garlic to make deep sides. Pour 200ml of water into the foil and scrunch the edges together to make a well-sealed parcel. Bake for 40 minutes.
- Empty the contents of the foil parcel into a frying pan and cook over a high heat until all the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves become slightly caramelised. Be careful not to take this too far or they will become bitter; they should also be slightly moist by the end. Scrape into a bowl and leave to cool.
- Turn the oven up to 190C/ 180C fan*/gas mark 5. Put the spring onions into the same roasting tin, drizzle with the rest of the oil, then toss with your hands and season. Roast for 15 minutes, or until soft and slightly charred.
- Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to a circle large enough to line a 28cm round tart tin (with a removable base). Line the tin with the pastry, trim the excess around the rim and put in the freezer for 30 minutes if there is space, otherwise in the coldest part of the fridge for 1 hour.
- Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or dried beans. Put the tart tin on a metal baking sheet and bake the pastry case for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, gently flatten the pastry that has puffed up using the back of a spoon, then return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/ 170C fan*/gas mark 4.
- To make the filling, whisk together the cream, créme fraîche, whole eggs and egg yolks. Season well, then add the grated goat’s cheese and lemon thyme. Fill the pastry case with the garlic cloves, spring onions (you can curl them so they fit) and chunks of soft goat’s cheese.
- Pour over the egg and cream mixture and bake for 35 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the middle (test with your index finger – you should be able to feel if it is just set; it will also continue to cook a little after it comes out of the oven).
- Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then serve.
*Diana’s conversion may differ slightly from the standard