Ham, tomato & watercress tart

Ham, tomato & watercress tart

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins

More effort

Serves 8

The secret to this tart is its cheesy, crisp polenta crust. Fabulous warm or cold and perfect for picnics

Nutrition and extra info

  • pastry only
  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal631
  • fat50g
  • saturates27g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein17g
  • salt2.61g
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    For the pastry

    • 200g plain flour
    • 50g fine polenta, plus extra for dusting



      An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

    • 140g cold butter, cut into small pieces



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 50g parmesan, finely grated



      Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

    • 1 egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    For the filling

    • 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 400ml double cream
    • 150g smoked ham slices
    • 100g sundried tomato
    • handful watercress



      With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…


    1. Place the flour, polenta, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor, then whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip in the Parmesan and egg, then pulse through 2 tbsp cold water until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in cling film, then chill for 30 mins.

    2. Dust a work surface with more polenta, then roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and wide enough to fit a 28cm tart case. Gently ease into the case, then trim away any big bits of overhanging pastry (leave a little excess sticking up around the edges as the pastry will shrink when cooking). Chill for another 30 mins.

    3. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place a sheet of baking parchment into the pastry case, then fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and parchment, then bake for another 5 mins or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool a little. Use a serrated knife to trim away any bits of overhanging pastry, then place the pastry case on a baking sheet.

    4. Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Whisk the eggs and cream with a little salt. Arrange the ham, tomatoes and watercress in the case, then pour around the egg mixture. Cook for 30 mins, just until the egg has set. Can be made up to 1 day ahead and chilled.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    13th Jul, 2010
    Pastry was too difficult for me to roll out so I pressed it into the tin instead :) Was very pretty too
    15th Feb, 2009
    This was lovely could not find polenta so left it out and the pastry still tasted lovely!! The sweetness of the tomatoes really complemented the taste of the parmesan. We normally eat Quiche hot but it was much nicer cold!
    25th Jun, 2008
    absolutely delicious - I have made this several times for guests and everyone loved it.
    19th Jun, 2008
    I cheated and used ready made pastry and then added the cheese to the egg mix. Really tasty flavours, will make again soon and slice up for a picnic.
    Frantic Flapjack
    30th May, 2008
    Help! Does anyone know where I can buy polenta? My local Tesco doesn't have it.
    24th May, 2008
    This turned out just like the picture, and its worth making the pastry. I made it for 2 aunts who cook very well (and an Uncle too), and Grannie, who was In Service (!) and they all commented on the lovely pastry.
    23rd May, 2008
    Wow, I've just made pastry for the 1st time in about 20 years (Home Ec at school!), and it was easy and really tasty, the cheese definitely helped. However, I though that the sun-dried tomatoes were too strong, but it has inspired me to try other quiches.
    14th May, 2008
    Didn't have the time to make the pastry myself... But added Parmesan to the readymade pastry before adding the filling. Never ate watercress before and I was surprised by the spicy flavour of it. Will definitely use it more in my cooking. Thank you for this new idea!
    28th Apr, 2008
    was a bit worried about trying this because hadn't made pastry since school - but it was delicious! If I can do it anyone can!
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