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Courgette and Gruyere Tartlets

It has been a long and busy summer here at Mrs B's Kitchen, but as I was making these tartlets for a business lunch today, I thought they might be a useful thing to put on the blog.

These will hit the spot for a light lunch or picnic, or as canapes for a Christmas drinks party if you make them in mini format! Equally you could use the pastry in one larger tin and make a larger tart. You will just have to adjust the cooking time to approximately 30 minutes for a larger tart .

The Pastry

This pastry is a really useful straightforward shortcrust - the recipe for which I have given before. It is a doddle to whizz up in the food processor:

175g plain flour

90g cold butter - cut into small bits

1 1/2 tsp caster sugar

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 egg yolk

2 tbs cold water

Put the salt, flour and sugar in the food processor with the butter. Pulse several times in short bursts until it is evenly sandy in texture.

Add egg yolk and water then pulse again. (if you have a Thermomix, put all the ingredients in the bowl in the order listed, place the lid on and process for 21 seconds at speed 4.5)

Preheat oven to 200C. Roll pastry out on a lightly floured board and line your tart tins. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes or so.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes (I never line the pastry when baking blind, but do so if you prefer)

The Filling

1 medium courgette

270ml double cream

2 eggs - beaten

1tbs parmesan cheeese

20g Gruyere (or other melting cheese)

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180C

Chop the ends off the courgette, then slice in half down the length, then again down the middle of each half so you have 4 long batons of courgette. Slice across the batons into 3mm wide slices and toss in a roasting tray with the olive oil salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Mix cream, eggs salt and pepper until smooth.

Place the pre-cooked and cooled pastry cases on a baking sheet and share the Parmesan between them, followed by several pieces of cooled courgette.

Fill with cream and egg mixture as close to the top of the case as you dare then top with a good grating of Gruyere.

Place in oven for approximately 14 minutes, after which time the tarts should be golden and nicely puffed up. (they will un-puff as they cool).

Best eaten when they have cooled a little.

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