This is a very simple, low-fat tart using hot-smoked salmon: one of my favourite ways of eating salmon! With its rich, deep, smoky flavour a little goes a long way: about 200g of the salmon will make this tart, with generous chunks of salmon in each bite.
Very little is needed in the filling with the salmon: just seasoning, a bit of lemon zest and a generous amount of horseradish, which works so well with the salmon. I sometimes add finely chopped chives to the filling, along with some sprinkled on top of the baked tart, but otherwise the simpler the better!
A lighter tart!
I normally use a mixture of cream and milk for a tart such as this, but this time I decided to go for less fat content, so I used light crème fraîche in the filling rather than the cream. Ok, there is butter in the pastry but pastry without butter really is not that great, whereas with the richness of the salmon, you can get away with a lighter filling.
You can use all milk instead of the crème fraîche but the crème fraîche gives a nice tang to the tart.
I used creamed horseradish from a jar here (about 50g) as I didn’t have any fresh horseradish to hand; if using fresh horseradish, a few good gratings of it are called for to get the right zing.
A slow, steady cooking
You don’t want to blast heat at the tart while it cooks so that it rises like a souffle before flattening out and turning firm or potentially rubbery!
Instead, a gentle cooking of the filled pastry case ensures the egg just sets, and does not over-cook: the finished tart has a very soft filling which melts away effortlessly on the tongue.
This tart is at its best served warm or cold.
About the pastry and baking blind
You need about 250g shortcrust pastry here, which will easily line an 8″ tart tin that is about 1″ or so deep (or use loose-bottomed cake tin).
If making the pastry, try mixing 2 teaspoons mustard powder or fennel powder with the flour for a wonderful flavour to the pastry.
See my full notes & tips on making shortcrust pastry and baking blind in my main pastry post here.
For an even easier and quicker tart:
Instead of making the pastry, you can of course use the ready-baked pastry cases. It is then just a matter of adding the filling (done in seconds!) and then baking the tart.
Recipe: hot-smoked salmon & horseradish tart – makes one deep 8″ tart
- one 8″ pastry case, having been baked blind (about 250g shortcrust pastry is needed).
- 200g hot-smoked salmon, roughly flaked
- 150ml light crème fraîche
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- 3 heaped teaspoons creamed horseradish sauce
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg yolks
- salt and freshly-milled pepper
- a little finely grated lemon zest
(1) Roll out the pastry thinly and line a lightly buttered flan ring with the pastry. Chill it for about 30 minutes and bake it blind: see About the pastry and baking blind above.
(2) Scatter the fish over the base of the baked tart case. Lightly whisk together the remaining filling ingredients and pour over the salmon, gently stirring so the salmon gets coated in the filling.
(3) Bake for 40 -45 minutes at 140C(fan): by this time the filling should have the a gentlest of wobbles in centre, but it will firm up ever-so slightly as it cools so that when you cut into it, the filling will hold without oozing everywhere.