Featured in Feast 19 – September 2017
250g of plain flour
1tsp of salt
1tsp of sugar
150g of salted butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks, lightly whisked together
425ml of double cream
100g of grated Cheddar cheese
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt and black pepper
3 cooked lobsters, just the meat, chunkily chopped
4tbsp of chopped basil
For this recipe you’ll need 4 individual 7.5cm loose-bottomed flan rings, at least 4cm high, and some baking beans.
To make the pastry
Sift the flour onto a large clean work surface and sprinkle over the salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the softened butter along with the beaten egg. Using your fingertips amalgamate the butter and egg until you achieve a scrambled egg consistency then add a good splash of water and mix in. Draw in the flour and again using your fingertips bring the pastry together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate to rest for at least 1 hour.
When ready to use, remove the pastry from the fridge, roll out, and line the flan rings. Place on a baking tray and return to the fridge to rest for at least another 1 hour.
To make the pie
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Remove the lined flan rings from the fridge, cover the pastry-lined rings with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and place in the centre of the oven. Bake ‘blind’ for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry just starts to colour. Remove the baking beans and parchment: if there are any cracks in the pastry, use leftover pieces of pastry or beaten egg yolk to repair it. Return the pastry case to the oven for about 5 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and cream together in a bowl. Add the cheese and season well with grated nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the lobster and chopped basil and mix well. Spoon the lobster mixture into the pastry cases and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the tarts are set. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Trim the pastry and remove the flan rings, and serve with a light tomato and cucumber salad and some blanched asparagus.