Puff Pastry Caprese Tart – Jackie Cameron

p108Jackie Cameron’s Puff Pastry Caprese Tart

Jackie Cameron has just published a book called ‘Baking with Jackie Cameron’.  Published by Penguin, the excellent photography is by Myburgh du Plessis.  Jackie has kindly given permission for me to use this recipe.

For more information – www.penguinbooks.co.za

Puff Pastry Caprese Tart

Makes 1 tart

Puff pastry case
400 g puff pastry

Basil pesto
35 g fresh basil
30 g salted butter
125 ml olive oil
2–3 cloves garlic
50 g Parmesan or pecorino cheese, finely grated
50 g pine nuts (pine kernels) or flaked almonds
salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste

Caprese Tart
10 ml salted butter
24 cherry tomatoes, halved
pinch flaked salt
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
splash balsamic vinegar
20–30 thin slices mozzarella cheese
40 ml basil pesto
4 sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water and sliced
2 buffalo mozzarella balls, torn into bite-sized pieces

To serve
fresh basil or rocket leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste

Puff pastry case
Grease a 12 × 34 cm rectangular tart tin. Roll the pastry to fit the tin and press it in gently to cover the base and sides. Prick well with a fork. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to rest.
Blind-bake the pastry case in a preheated oven at 200ºC for about 20 minutes, or until cooked. Set aside to cool before adding the filling.

Basil pesto
Place the basil, butter, olive oil, garlic and grated cheese into a blender or processor and pulse to combine.
Add the nuts and pulse until the correct consistency is reached.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Caprese tart
Heat a frying pan very well. Add the butter and when it starts to sizzle, add the halved cherry tomatoes. Season with the salt, rosemary and a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook until the tomatoes are just soft, but still holding their shape. Remove from the heat.
Line the base of the pastry case with the thin slices of mozzarella cheese.
Pour over the cooked cherry tomatoes.
Drizzle with the basil pesto and scatter over the sliced sundried tomatoes.
Top with the torn buffalo mozzarella.
Place the tart tin on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 10–15 minutes, then pop it under the grill for 5 minutes, until the mozzarella is bubbling and golden.

To serve
Remove the warm tart from the tin and place on a bed of fresh basil or rocket leaves. Drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and garnish with salt and black pepper.

Homemade pesto is so much nicer than bought. When basil is in season, double or treble the quantities and make enough to store.  It keeps well in a sterilised airtight container in the fridge.

Lightly toasting the nuts beforehand adds a lovely roasted flavour to the pesto. Spread on a baking tray and place in a 160°C oven for 10 minutes, or place in a heavy-based pan and toss over a gentle heat. Do not allow the nuts to burn. Flaked almonds are a more reasonably priced alternative to pine nuts, and just as delicious.

Michael’s Wine Recommendation – CLICK HEREdurbanville-hills-merlot-rose2

JackieC_1mbBaking with Jackie Cameron

Of Jackie Cameron, Victor Strugo writes – “Born into a family with a healthy food culture, Jackie Cameron knew upon graduating that a diploma is a beginning, not an end. Taking over as kitchen commander at Hartford House in the KZN Midlands at only 20, her style of fine dining instinctively tempered youthful exuberance with uncannily inherited wisdom, creating menus distinguished by thoughtful structure, textural sensitivity and clever pacing of delicacy and intensity across successive courses. Through the next a decade, her star has continued to rise, confidently shaping a young brigade to harmonise modern global trends with classical principles – thereby turning a bucolic location into a must-visit gourmet destination.”

Now Jackie operates her own very successful Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine in Hilton KZN, exciting times ahead.

Read about Jackie’s previous book – CLICK HERE

She as her own range of chef’s wear – CLICK HERE

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