Popeye’s tart.

When I was a child, tarts seemed to be the one thing that I was fascinated with. And still am. 

Whenever I walk by a patisserie, I am was always so fascinated by tarts and pies, there are so many shapes, colours and fillings. Oh, the fillings…thinly sliced apples, caramelised cream, shiny glazed fruit or subtle and sweet artichokes.

I have posted some tart recipes on the blog because tarts are a perfect canvas to explore  creativity or use left-over ingredients. When making tarts and pies you can always replace any of the fruits and vegetables based on your location, season or mood.

Speaking of season and mood, during winter most of the times I think that I need more energy, maybe it’s because of the cold weather and cloudy days. Thus, baking a spinach tart was a great option for this feeling. There is much lore regarding spinach, most famously as the source of Popeye’s strength. When faced with the sight of trouble Popeye would burst open a tin of spinach. Once consumed, his biceps would bulge and his new-found strength would see him overcome his enemies.

So, baking a spinach tart was the only available option. If you have similar feelings like me during cloudy and winter days you should bake this tart. Or any other tart, just bake something. 

INGREDIENTS: 

For making the dough

  • 325 g  all-purpose flour
  • 175 g butter, in small pieces
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 30 ml of milk, cold

For making the filling

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 50 g leek, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 g spinach, cleaned and coarse
  • 150 g feta cheese, grated in the hand
  • 2 tbl. fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 tbl. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 250 ml of heavy cream 35% fat
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

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STEP 1: Making the pastry.

Mix flour, butter, salt and sugar in the mixer bowl. Then, add the egg and milk and beat until a homogeneous dough is created. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate and allow it to rest for at least 1 hour.

You can personalise your tart or pie by adding some finely chopped basil leaves or a small handful of blanched, chopped baby spinach to the dough. This not only gives an additional layer of flavour to your tart but also gives the pastry shell a lovely green hue. You can also add ½ teaspoon of your favourite spice — whatever best suits the filling or topping you are using. Add the herbs and spices at the same time as when you add the egg yolks and cold water.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and open it with a roller, starting from the center of the dough and pressing successively in all directions until it’s large enough to line a deep 23cm fluted tart pan. 

Carefully lift the pastry into the pan and press it into the corners, patching up any holes with spare scraps of pastry. Trim the excess with a pair of scissors or a knife.

Line the case with baking parchment (it’ll be more pliable if you scrunch it up in your hands first) then fill with baking beans. Place on the baking in the oven and bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further 10 mins or until biscuity. 

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STEP 2: Preparing the filling. 

Heat a pot on a high heat, add olive oil and saute onion and leek for a few minutes until they soften. Add garlic and spinach and cook for 3 mins more or until wilted down. Remove from the fire and let cool. Add feta, fennel and thyme to the pot and stir. Add salt if it’s necessary. 

STEP 3: Make the cream mix. 

In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the yolks, salt and ground pepper. Whisk until incorporated.

STEP 4: Assemble the tart. 

Spread evenly the spinach on the bottom of the tart, add the cream mixture on top and bake at 170° C for 40-45 minutes until it gets a reddish color. Let the tart cool before serving.

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I hope to enjoyed the post and to try the recipe, the tart is really tastefull and full of “energy”. 

I’ll be happy to read your comments!

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Posted by

A highly motivated postgraduate with an MSc in Energy Systems and a BA in Economics, trying to find time for cooking!

9 thoughts on “Popeye’s tart.

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