Pic of Sweet and sour pepper tart with basil custard

Sweet and sour pepper tart with basil custard

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Sweet and sour pepper tart with basil custard

Main Serves 5 1h 40 min
This is based on a simple tart that is often served as a starter, but it would work just as well for any occasion.


for the pastry

  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • about 3 tbsp cold water

for the filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • handful fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 40 min
Cooking time: 1h

First make the pastry.

  • Step 1

    Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Step 2

    Transfer to a bowl and stir in enough water to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes (you can make the filling while the pastry is chilling).
  • Step 3

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Make the filling.

  • Step 1

    Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the red peppers and cook for 20 minutes, until soft.
  • Step 2

    Stir in the garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up, add the sugar and cook until caramelised.
  • Step 3

    Stir in the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Step 4

    In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the crème fraîche, some seasoning and half the Parmesan. Mix the shredded basil leaves into this custard.
  • Step 5

    Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and use to line a 24cm loose-bottomed flan tin.
  • Step 6

    Cover the base and sides with a piece of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet in an oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, removing the paper and beans for the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Step 7

    Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce oven to 140°C/Gas 1. Place the pepper mixture in the pastry case, pour in the basil custard and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan.
  • Step 8

    Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Serve warm.

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