Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Time for a fridge clear out - Random Cheese Tart

I opened the fridge to have a root around for lunch. My Husband wandered in, took one look at me and said ‘phwoar!' (not in the good way) 'What’s that smell!?’. Delightful. ‘It’s the cheese!’ I insisted, ‘It’s starting to pong and there is so much of it!’ 

I love cheese, but I get very over-excited once I enter a cheese shop, it’s quite embarrassing. I always tend to buy more, so much more than I actually need and then it goes pongy, then furry before I can eat it all. I love the pongy nature of cheese, but it’s when it starts to pong out the fridge that, when I'm out, hubs goes in and chucks the lot away.

To stop this amount of crazy (and ridiculous waste) in my house I took action. I pulled out of the fridge:

A few wodges of cheese of varying types in various states
A few slices of ham going a bit curly at the edges and a couple of prosciutto
Half a jar of sundried tomatoes

After a further root around, I found some cream that was about to start to pong too – and not in the good way that cheese does.

So I came up with this cheese and ham tart. It’s a proper fridge clearer of a recipe (which is exactly what inspired this in the first place). The next time you buy cheese for a dinner party and only one person nibbles on the corner of the cheddar, try this baby for lunch the next day.

Random Cheese, Ham and Tomato Tart

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp Cold water
  • 280 - 300ml double cream*
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g (roughly) of mixed cheeses
  • 4 slices of smoked ham 
  • 6-8 sun dried tomatoes
Please note - the eggs, ham and tomatoes are just a guide. If you have other hams, cheeses, fresh tomatoes, a bag of spinach etc, use these instead! For the cheeses, I used a herby boursin, a strong cheddar and edam. I'd have loved a blue but didn't have any in.

*300ml is ideal, but if you have less, that's fine, but try not to go lower than 280ml. If you do your filling will poke over the top cream mixture.

1. To make the pastry, tip the flour and butter into a food processor and blitz to fine breadcrumbs. Add most of the water, and blitz again until it forms a dough (do not over mix). Add a little more water if necessary. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, shape into a disk and leace to chill in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180.

3. When chilled, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface until your pastry is about the thickness of a pound coin. Take an 8" loose bottom flan tin and lift your pastry into the tin. Immediately place the edges inside the tin and then edge and mould to the sides. The alternative is to place the pastry on top of the tin and push inside with your fingers. If you do it this way, you will stretch the pastry and it will shrink whilst cooking.

4. Line the base with a circle of baking paper and baking beans, and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and paper, and return to the over for another 10 minutes.

5. To make the filling, lightly beat the eggs and the cream. Tear or chop the cheeses into small-ish pieces (I do this by hand - if you have rough chunks of the harder cheeses you get pockets of gooey goodness when you bite through the tart) and tear the ham into lengths.

6. Throw the ham, cheese and sundried tomatoes into the tart case and pour over the egg and cream mix. Give it a shake to make sure the egg and cream are evenly distributed.

7. Bake for 40 minutes until set (but a little wobbly in the middle) and golden.



  1. Sounds good, tempted to give it a go with cheese, tomato and spinach.

  2. mmmmmm, sounds good - can you save me a piece? ;-) Thanks for your comments