Serves 6

 

Step 1: Pastry

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and then add the butter cubes and salt. With clean cold hands rub the butter into the flour until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs. Don't over work it, there should be plenty of visible pieces of butter.

Add the cold water and the egg yolk to a small bowl and whisk lightly until combined. Add the yolk mix to the flour mix and combine until a dough forms. Again, do not over work the pastry - mix it just until it comes together.

Cut the finished pastry in half, cover each piece with cling wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 

Step 2: Caramelised Fennel

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Remove the green stalky tops from the fennel bulbs and discard. Cut the bulbs in half and remove most of the tough inner core, then cut the halves into thickish wedges. Place in a bowl and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking dish and roast in the oven for 30 or so minutes until golden and soft. Remove and cool. 

 

Step 3: Caramelised Fennel Custard Tarts

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Roll out the pastry on a floured bench top to a pie crust thickness (3-4 mm thick). Cut out pastry rounds that will fit 6 pie tins measuring 10cm x 3cm. Dock the pastry before pressing into the pie tins. Alternatively, make one large tart using a large quiche tin. Lay baking paper inside the pie shells. Fill the shells with rice/beans/lentils and blind bake the shells for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully remove the blind baking weights and paper. Brush the inside of the tarts with the egg yolk and then place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and cool the pie shells in their tins.

To make the custard, pour the cream and ground fennel seeds into a suitable saucepan and place on a medium heat. Bring up to a simmer and then remove from the heat and let the fennel seeds steep in the cream for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk together the yolks and the single egg. Then while whisking, slowly incorporate the cream into the egg mix. Now strain the custard batter through a fine sieve and discard the ground fennel seeds. Add the chopped dill to your batter and season with salt and pepper.

Reserve 6 nicely caramelised pieces of fennel. Rough chop the rest and divide into the pie tins. Distribute the custard batter evenly between the pie shells, filling to the top of each shell. Place one of the caramelised pieces of fennel in the centre of each of the pies. 

Turn the oven down to 180. Place an oven proof dish containing hot water in bottom of the oven to create a little steam while the pies are cooking. Cook the pies for 20 to 30 minutes until just set. Remove and keep warm.

 

Step 4: Black Olive, Feta and Orange Salad

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and gently mix together until the salad leaves are wilted and fully combined.

 

 

Step 5: Plating and Serving

Place a warm tart in the centre of each plate with a pile of salad on the side. Eat now!

 

Photography by Kieran Scott