Salmon and Watercress Tartlets

Olivia Lowe

Olivia Lowe from Maidstone Grammar School for Girls in Maidstone 2016 Overall Winner

Method

1. First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough water to make the dough come together, then wrap well and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until quite thin then line 4 small tart tins – don’t trim off the excess pastry just yet though, as it will shrink a little when it cooks. Put the pastry cases in the fridge, for 5 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Remove the pastry cases from the fridge and line with baking parchment. Fill with baking beans, then bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove beans and paper. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the base, then cook for 5 minutes more until pale and golden. Turn down the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Trim the edges of the pastry case with a sharp serrated knife.

4. Arrange the watercress and salmon in the bottom of the pastry cases. Whisk the dill, eggs, milk and cream and season well. Ladle over the salmon and watercress, adding a few more strands of dill on top, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set with a slight wobble in the centre. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

5. Finally, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and leave the flavours to combine. Arrange salad on a plate with the tartlets, dressing the salad at the last minute.

Ingredients

For the pastry
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Large pinch of salt
70g cold butter, cut into cubes
2-3 tbsp. very cold water
Handful of grated parmesan (Curd and Cure - Cranbrook, Kent)

For the filling
25g John Hurds Traditional watercress, roughly chopped
50g smoked salmon, torn
1 tbsp. home grown chopped dill
3 local farm eggs (from Cader Idris Farm, Sevenoaks, Kent)
50ml milk
125ml double cream
Local Baby Leaf/rocket Salad (from Betts Farm, Offham, Kent)
Homemade vinaigrette dressing (3 parts olive oil, 1-pint white wine vinegar, pinch sugar, pinch salt, ¼ teaspoon crushed garlic)