Saffron Cream, Crab and Leek Tarts
I love the smell and taste of saffron, making me Cornish, I reckon. So I use it often if I can, especially in savoury tarts and breads. This tart is great for lunches or as cold picnic food. You could even dress it up a bit for a dinner starter.
I have used little mini quiche tins but you could use large muffin tins too. The quality below makes about 6 mini quiche. I made four large mini quiches 5” diameter [more if you use a muffin tin]
Start off by making the pastry [or buy, ready made in Sainsbury’s!!!’]
Take some strands of saffron, wrap in a piece of parchment and place in a very cool oven for ten minutes, to dry. Lightly crush. [use as much saffron depending on how saffrony you want it!]
8 oz plain flour
large pinch salt
4 oz cubed cold butter
4 tablespoons very cold water
Place the dry ingredients in a processor, pulsing until resembling breadcrumbs. Add the water until it forms a ball. Or alternatively rub in the butter. Wrap in cling film and chill.
Preheat your fan oven to 190C, roll out the pastry and line your greased tins. I sprinkle a little smoked paprika over the base, but this is not essential. I love the flavour of paprika. Chill again for ten mins. Line with small pieces of parchment and a few baking beans and bake for about 20 mins. Set aside until you are ready to fill them.
1 yellow and 1 orange pepper, halved, grilled until almost charred, cooled then skinned, cut into strips.
2 medium/1 large leek, sliced
a little butter and olive oil
½ pint of single cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2oz white crab meat [optional]
a little fish stock, I used ½ a cube, crumbled and mixed into the egg
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parmesan
Take a medium fry pan, add the oil and butter and fry the finely chopped shallots and leeks until soft and just starting to colour - about 8-10 mins, then arrange these on the bottom of the tart cases. Add the sliced grilled peppers, season with ground pepper.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the saffron, single cream, cheese, crab meat and beaten eggs and stock. Mix well, season to taste, finally add the finely chopped parsley [saving a little to sprinkle over the top, if you wish] then pour this over the veggies in the tins.
Turn the oven down to 160C. Bake for about 20 - 25 mins until firm. Just delicious. They look so colourful too. A little savoury taste of what we Cornish love!