Pic of Piquant pepper tart

Piquant pepper tart

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Vegetarian mains

Piquant pepper tart

Main Serves 4 1h 45 min
Buttery pastry filled with red peppers and a light, creamy crème fraîche mixture. This is good warm and cold, and best eaten alongside a green, vinaigrette-dressed salad. Exchange the Parmesan for another hard cheese to keep it vegetarian.


  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • about 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan, grated
  • handful fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 40 min
Cooking time: 1h 5 min
  • Step 1

    To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and blitz briefly. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water and pulse until the mixture combines into a dough.
  • Step 2

    Roll out on a floured work surface and line a 23-24cm flan tin or dish. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Remove the flan dish from the fridge, take off the clingfilm and line the pastry with baking parchment or foil. Fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes (it's easier to handle the dish if you place it on a baking tray). Remove baking beans and paper or foil, then bake for another 5-10 minutes (don't let it go brown).
  • Step 4

    While the pastry is cooking, make the filling. Cook the onion in olive oil for 10 minutes over a low heat. Add the red peppers and cook for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Step 5

    Turn the heat up, add the sugar and cook until the onions have caramelised. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute or two to reduce. Leave the mixture to cool.
  • Step 6

    Beat the eggs together in a large bowl and whisk in the crème fraiche. Season and add half the Parmesan. Add the shredded basil leaves.
  • Step 7

    Put the pepper mixture into the tart case. Pour in the egg and basil mixture and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan.
  • Step 8

    Reduce the oven to 140°C/Gas 1 and cook the tart for 30 minutes until set.

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