Fresh onion chutney, crisp bacon and creamy brie are an excellent combination and they make for a light, flavoursome tart. This tart is perfect served with a green salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette.
I tend to make puff pastry, often doubling up the ingredients in order to freeze half for a later time. However, if using bought puff pastry, buy the all-butter pastry; the puff pastry that contains hydrogenated vegetable oils and the like can feel a little “claggy” on the palate, leaving a strange after-taste and although the filling is the real star of this tart, the pastry case should taste great, too.
Only about half of the chutney will be needed, but I like to make a larger amount as it is great served with cheese and biscuits, and wonderful with pâté and hot toast. The chutney will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few weeks.
There are any number of variations to this tart. I am partial to fresh pesto spread over the pastry, topped with sliced fresh tomatoes before baking, with basil oil drizzled over as the tart is served (For basil oil: put a handful of fresh basil, 100ml or so extra-virgin olive oil, grated zest of 1 lemon & a peeled clove of garlic into a blender and bliz until smooth. Strain and use).
I also like to make a sweet tart, spreading crème patissière on the base and topping with fruit before baking, and glazing the just-cooked tart with warmed, sieved apricot jam: halved cherries macerated in kirsch; sliced apples that have been tossed in calvados are two of my favourites.
This recipe will make a one large tart or several individual tarts, making them as small as you wish.
Bacon and brie tart: makes 1 large tart
- approx. 500g onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 150ml red wine vinegar
- 100g demerara sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- approx. 300g puff pastry
- 1 Camembert, Brie or similar cheese, sliced thinly.
- 8 rashers good quality bacon, baked until crispy
- Small handful of Gruyère cheese or similar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 beaten egg for glazing.
Make the chutney: add all the ingredients except the thyme to a pan, bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 30 minutes until thickened with not much liquid left. Add the thyme when the chutney has just about thickened enough. Leave to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan oven). Roll out the puff pastry fairly thinly. Cut out a large circle (using an upturned dinner plate or similar) and transfer to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof. Place a slightly smaller plate on the surface, leaving a 1cm or so border around it, and gently cut around it: don’t cut too deeply – the cut is little more than a score. Prick the base of the inner circle with a fork. Chill for about 10 minutes
Spread a few tablespoons of the cooled chutney onto the inner circle. Top with pieces of bacon and then the camembert. Sprinkle the Gruyère over the top and a grinding of black pepper.
- Brush the egg around the top of outer circle, taking care not to let the egg drip over the edge or into the cut. Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden