Recipes from the book Manu's French Bistro, by Manu Feildel. Picture: Chris Chen

Celebrity chef Manu Feildel shares his tartlets recipe complete with special shortcrust pastry.

RECIPE: MANU'S ONION AND BACON TARTLETS
Serves 4

1 quantity shortcrust pastry (see recipe below)
2 tsp unsalted butter
30g speck or bacon, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 eggs
150ml milk
150ml pouring cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
thyme sprigs (optional), to serve

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until about 3mm thick and use to line four 12cm tart tins with removable bases. Use a small, sharp knife to trim off the excess. Prick the pastry shells all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line each pastry shell with a piece of baking paper, then fill with pastry weights, dried beans or rice. Place the tart tins on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is light golden. Remove the baking tray from the oven, then remove the weights and paper and return pastry shells to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and dry. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over low heat. Add the speck or bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs until foamy. Whisk in the milk, cream and nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the onion mixture evenly among the tart shells and pour over egg mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and just set. Serve immediately with thyme sprigs, if using.

RECIPE: MANU'S SHORTCRUST PASTRY
Makes enough to line a 30cm tart tin

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
large pinch fine sea salt
1 egg yolk
125g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
50ml cold water

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolk, butter and water and use your fingertips to work the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a dough forms. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead gently and quickly, using the palm of your hand, until just combined. (It is better for the dough to be a little rough rather than to overwork it and you must work quickly to prevent the butter from melting.) Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in a plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

Recipes from the book Manu's French Bistro, by Manu Feildel and photography by Chris Chen. Published By Lantern. RRP $49.95.

The West Australian

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