Tomato & Thyme Tartlets

I am a sucker for a good ol’ savoury treat, especially when it involves sweet cherry tomatoes, good pastry and fresh herbs. I made these mini tomato tartlets for a spring day party that a client was having. I love spring…the blossoms, the warmer days (but still cool enough for a snuggle and a jersey)…picnics, lazy days with a book in the sun. I’d love to share this recipe with you, I took bits and pieces of other recipes and then made up my own combination. The pastry is so simple to make and really yummy. It is buttery and crumbly and just ‘oh so good!’ Definitely better than store bought pastry so I encourage you to try it. have fun, enjoy this, it is really simply and can also be made into a bigger tart if you prefer. Be creative, use what you have….if you want to add more cheese then go ahead and basil or thyme will be good so just use whatever herbs are available. ūüôā I love recipes that are a little flexible. Here you go…. go wild…

Makes 1 x 22cm tart or 16 mini tartlets

1. Butter a 22cm tart pan with a removable bottom or  mini pie pan (I used the shallow pan that I usually use for fruit mince pies)

Pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • 7 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter chopped. (use real butter)
  • 1/2 cup cold cream

2. In a food processor, pulse flour with a pinch of salt and the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the cream and pulse until the dough nearly comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Tomato filling:

  • about 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chopped thyme or herb of choice
  • salt and pepper

4. While waiting for pastry to chill, chop up a few cherry tomatoes and throw them into a bowl with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, herbs and seasoning. Mix around and put aside so the flavours really blend together.

5. Roll out the dough and place into large pan, trimming any excess, or cut out for smaller mini pan with cookie cutter. Prick the pastry a few times with a fork.

6. Place the tomatoes into shells. face them with their seeds upwards so they do not wet pastry too much. If you want to, you can add feta or goats cheese at this point.

7. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes for the mini tartlets or 30 for large. I just watch it to see the pastry is a beautiful colour and the tomatoes look nice and juicy.

8. You can also add cheese afterwards, which is what I did for the tartlets above. Garnish with a fresh sprig of herbs.

And there you go…some yummy tomato tartlets to snack on.

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Oatmeal Banana Bread

Its a rainy day in Somerset West and the dear husband is out looking at cars again…his favorite¬†pastime. I’ve been home looking through recipes again…a favorite pastime of mine, and I came across this low fat oatmeal banana bread recipe. So being a baker-wife who loves to bake so the house smells good, I threw this together, put it in the oven and washed the dishes. ¬†I hate washing the dishes, I can bake all day, but the unfortunate thing is that with baking comes dishes. Bla. Its totally worth it so I ¬†shall not complain.

The dear husband came home just in time to smell the bread baking, gave me a “thank you for being a baker-wife” kiss and went to switch on the tv to watch¬†Portugal¬†torture South Korea on the soccer field. He was however eager to taste the delicious bread, thickly spread with butter and strawberry jam.

This is a great guilt-free bread, healthy, tasty and great when you’ve put on a few winter kilograms. I just know it wont last long….”would you like another piece dear husband?”

Here is the recipe so you can have a piece too:

with thanks to joythebaker

makes 1 loaf

– 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Р1/2 tsp  salt
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Р3 tsp canola or walnut  oil
– 1 large egg, beaten
– 2 medium egg whites, beaten
– 3 large bananas, ripe
– 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 180¬įC. ¬†Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.

In a separate smaller bowl, mash bananas with a fork, then add oil and whole egg and mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well again.  The batter will be very thick.

In a clean bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the 2 egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. (When you lift the mixer, the peaks should be stiff and not fold over) Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions.

Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Best served with butter and jam or honey.