Jul 11, 2012

Spinach n Paneer Tartlets



    Ahan, finally I made tarts. I have been planning to make them since so long but was always afraid of the tart pastry not being flaky and being undercooked or multiple of things that can go wrong. I was very very apprehensive of trying them. But I did it, made my first ever tarts filled with spinach and paneer. They turned out pretty good for the first attempt.
The crust was nice flaky and crumbly. But I have tough time rolling out pastry in afternoon heat. So next time, evening is going to be my tart time. I remember me and Abhi sharing fruit filled tartlets in farmer's market in Sunnyvale. They were so crisp and just melted in mouths with fresh fruits topped on them. I so wanna make them, but with due respect to my ever increasing waistline, have decided to cut down fats n sugars from our diet..... So healthy food coming up..... I hope I will be able to stick to my new year's resolution atleast this year,,Getting back in shape.....
            The classic combination of spinach and paneer turns this tart into a classic treat and pinenuts just adds  glamour.

Ingredients:

A) For the tart dough
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 75 gm unsalted cold butter cubes
  • ice cold water
B) For the filling
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt n pepper
  • ½ cup creamy full fat milk
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 100 gm paneer
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts

Method:
  • On a large board, sift flour and salt and add small cubes of COLD butter. The butter needs to be really cold as you want few pea sized pieces of butter and few small pieces in your tart dough to make really flaky tart. It would be best to make the dough on a clean marble platform. If you are making dough in a bowl, use metal bowl and chill it as well.
  • Now using fork start breaking the butter and mixing with flour till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add ICE COLD WATER, tsp by tsp just enough to get the dough together.
  • Roll the dough in a circle and divide into four pieces.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap film and chill the dough for 30 min.
  • Remove one piece of dough and roll the dough into a circle larger than your tart plate. Carefully lift the dough into the tart pan and press to fit. Neaten the edges and trim the excess dough. Repeat with rest of three tarts and let them chill in fridge for next 30 min.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 C
  • Place a parchment paper into each tart and fill it with beans or rice. Now bake them blind in the preheated oven for 10 min.
  • While the tart shells are being baked in the oven, get ready fill the filling. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 2 min, drain and squeeze all the water out. Chop the spinach
  • Add olive oil to the pan, add chopped spinach and cook till its dry. Season with salt n pepper.
  • Mix the creamy milk and egg yolks and add them to the spinach mixture, keeping the flame low. If you do it on high flame, you will get scrambled eggs with spinach. For a vegetarian version simple avoid the eggs and substitute milk with cream and some grated cheese.
  • Now the tart shells are ready to be filled. Discard the parchment paper with rice, its obvious isn’t it. Place paneer in the tarts and top with creamed spinach.
  • Bake for further 10 min.
  • Sprinkle pinenuts over the tartlets and cook for additional 5 min. Pine nuts seem to add a bit of glamour to just about anything.But you could substitute pinenuts with grated cheese or sliced almonds.

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