The art of the tart


And now for a little catching up.

I am trying my best to post the recipes we did in Westminster College in chronological order. And that has kept me way behind schedule.

After the pâte sableé we made some very tasty goat’s cheese and caramelized red onion tarts.

This time we did a savoury pastry which is known in France as pâte à foncer. There is, however, another very similar type of pastry known as pâte brisée.

The difference between the two, as I understand it, (or at least according to Michel Roux), is that one has milk where the other one has cold water. In either case they are infinitely more manageable than the fragile pâte sablée. And they are definitely interchangeable.

One nice twist that we did to the pastry was to add some dried herbs to it which gives it a lovely flavour.



Pâte à foncer – adapted from Pastry by Michel Roux


250g plain flour

125g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened

1 egg

1 tsp caster sugar

½ tsp fine salt

40 ml cold water

pinch of dried herbs such as herbes de Provence (optional)


Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, salt, sugar and egg. Using your fingertips mix and cream these ingredients together.

Little by little, draw in the flour working the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture. Add the cold water, incorporating it gently with your fingertips until the dough begins to hold together. Using the palm of your hand, work the dough by pushing it away from you 4 or 5 times until it is smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).




1 slice of goat‘s cheese per tart (peeled)

1 tbsp. or so of caramelized red onions

quiche filling made with eggs and cream (or milk) seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper (as needed) 


When you are ready to make the tarts, line the pastry cases with it, place the slice of goat’s cheese, the caramelized red onion and fill with the quiche filling using a small jug, preferably when the tarts are already lined up on the baking tray.




3 thoughts on “The art of the tart

  1. Hey there! I was researching catering colleges in Uk and bumped into your blog.
    I am very interested in study in Westminster! (I just loooved your recipes)
    You`re a foreign student, right? How did you get to study in Westminster?
    I`d love if you could send me some info.
    Thank you!

  2. Hello there Ju! Thanks for writing.
    It’s true, Westminster is just one amazing college. I have a EU passport (courtesy of my great-grandfather) so I’m not technically a foreign student. That said though, there’s only one English girl in my group. I guess catering studies are very popular with foreigners. As to how I entered, basically all I did was ask for a prospectus and apply (you can also do it on-line) then you are invited for an interview and if all goes well you will be offered a place. I believe I posted the link for the college already but just in case here it is again:
    I am thrilled you liked my recipes. I will try and post more often.
    I hope all this helps!
    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s