Tarte au moutarde

What with Charlie away in Cornwall with her nan this week, our usual frantic Sunday gave way to something a little more languorous. After a lovely lie-in and long bath, I finished the housework while listening to the Archers and then the rest of the day stretched before me.

I planned to wheel the bike down to Balfe’s in East Dulwich to get a replacement saddle for the one that got stolen on Thursday night, but we found out that Balfe’s is closed on Sundays (would be useful if they put the opening times on the website though).

So I decided to try and remember a recipe from my first ever vegetarian cookbook (it was one of those little Sainsbury’s books from the early 80s, and it was by Rosamund Richardson. It got lost in one of our moves,). I’ve only made this tarte a couple of times, but the combination of unlikely flavours and textures was always intriguing.

So here it is, with pictures. The first attempt went a bit awry, because I forgot to drain the tomatoes. So, remember to drain the tomatoes before you mash them.

Tarte au moutarde

Canon Ixus July 2009 003 1 x 9in shortcrust pastry case, baked blind

2 tbsps wholegrain mustard

4 oz gruyere, grated

200 ml creme fraiche*

1 400ml can of chopped tomatoes, drained and put through the mouli-legumes

2 eggs


If you’re making the pastry case yourself, let it cool slightly after you’ve taken it out of the oven.

Turn down the oven to Gas Mark 3.

Canon Ixus July 2009 006Mix together the eggs, creme fraiche and cheese until well combined. Season liberally with freshly ground black pepper.

Spread the mustard over the base of the pastry case.

Add the tomatoes next, then the cheesy egg mix.

This is where it went a bit wrong. As I remember, the cheesy egg mix is supposed to sit proud on top of the tomatoes, but there was too much tomato juice to let this happen. Next time I’ll drain the tomatoes before mashing in my beloved mouli (bought in Carrefour for about 11 euro – possibly the best kitchen gadget ever)

The tomato-egg mix looked pretty enough to try anyway, so into the oven it went for an hour.


Canon Ixus July 2009 007

The thing stayed miraculously together, despite the soggy filling.

The taste was how I remembered it: cheesy custardy goodness meets mustardy bite, mellowed slightly by pastry and tomato. Reckon I could probably make it less acidic if I used fresh tomatoes, cooked lightly, rather than tinned tomatoes.

Martin’s not keen on mustard, so I think I’ll be eating most of this one.


Canon Ixus July 2009 009The day wasn’t a total disaster. While the tart was cooking, I rustled up a loaf of white bread. Standard Nigel Slater recipe of strong plain flour, dried yeast, salt and water, two risings, and into a hot oven for twenty minutes or thereabouts. I even tried making little bloomer-style cuts in the top (!)