Puffing away…

by Sunita on June 20, 2008

I usually try to make my own low fat versions of pastry, when we crave for some pies or tarts. But, when it comes to puff pastry, I have a love – hate relationship with it. I love it’s taste but hate all the butter that goes into it’s making. Why does something that tastes so good have to be so fatty? {a very big moan :-( } So, every time, I reach for that block of puff pastry, I have to really pull myself off. But, sometimes, the temptations are too hard to resist and I admit to being guilty of giving in.

So, as I said, in a weak moment, I did bring home the block of puff pastry and made a savoury tart.

Of course, I made sure to load it with lots of vegetables and mushrooms. I also added some sweet piquante peppers, which we have grown to love quite recently.They have a hot, spicy yet sweet taste.

Peppadew is the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Peppadew International markets it under the trademarked name Peppadew as a fruit. The fruit is processed for removal of the seeds and reduction of the heat of the pepper to more pleasant levels. It is then pickled and bottled.

The type of piquanté peppers was discovered and isolated in the 1990s. The name is derived from “Pepper” and “dew”.

Although the pepper is sometimes described as a cross between a pepper and a tomato, this description is not botanically accurate, and refers only to the resemblance in color and size between Peppadew and cherry tomatoes.

Peppadew International holds all growing rights to the plant.(source)

Now, coming to the recipe for the puff pastry tart, it is a very simple one and does not take much time to assemble. The use of the above mentioned peppers in the following tart, is purely optional…will taste great, even without it…but, I must say, it’s addition, sure adds a nice kick. Likewise, I have used an assortment of vegetables…use as many, fewer or more :-)

What’s needed-

1 block of puff pastry (500 gms), rolled out to a rectangular shape of 9 inches by 12 inches
1 yellow pepper,thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely cubed
6-7 close capped mushrooms, sliced
6-7 sweet piquante peppers, halved(optional)
1 red onion, sliced
a handful of sweetcorn
5-6 baby plum tomatoes, halved, lengthwise
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tblsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp(more or less) crushed red chillies
4 tblsp of tomato puree+1 tblsp of dried oregano+1/2 tsp paprika(mix these three together and keep aside)
1 tsp roasted and ground cumin
100 gms of mozzarella cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
beaten egg or milk for glazing

How to-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions for 1/2 a minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms,carrots and garlic and fry till the mushrooms soften a little bit…do not let it wilt.
  4. Add the sweetcorn, yellow pepper, oregano, cumin, crushed red chillies and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and cool .
  5. Transfer the rolled out puff pastry to a lined baking tray.
  6. Spread the tomato puree mixture on it, leaving a border of about 2-2.5 cm all around.
  7. Arrange the cooked topping on top of the spread tomato puree mixture. Arrange the plum tomatoes and sweet piquante peppers on top. Sprinkle a little salt and the cheese.Top with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.
  8. Brush the border with the beaten egg or milk.
  9. Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or till the cheese ,melts and the pastry edges are risen and golden.

A few notes -

  • Always take the puff pastry out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before rolling. On the other hand, if the pastry is too loose and sticky, chill for a few minutes.
  • Use a floured rolling pin and dust a little flour on the pastry, if it gets sticky.
  • For easier transfering of the puff pastry, roll out the block on a piece of parchment (slightly bigger than the desired size of rolled out pastry), so that it can be transfered directly to the tray .
  • Try to keep the topping dry…too much liquid makes for a soggy crust.
  • I still think that I should have baked for a little longer than the 20 minutes(till those pale bits on the border was more golden).

We simply adored the tart…and yes, the indulgence was worth it. Slices of the tart along with a fresh salad on the side is what we had for dinner, quite a few moons ago (ummm, make that more than a month ago).

A parting look…

Have a nice weekend !

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Happy cook June 20, 2008 at 10:31 am

Yeah i know what u mean, i too love puff pastry but then always a bit reluctant to use them, but still i use them when the recipe ask for it.
The vegie tart looks so delicious.
Didn know about the Peppadew, will check ou next time when i am in the supermarket.


2 Asha June 20, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Same here! I love the dishes made with those Puff pastry but when you bite into it, as tasty as they are, you can taste the fat too!:D
Love the dish, atleast it’s loaded with veggies!:)


3 Patricia Scarpin June 20, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Sunita, puff pastry has such a special place in my heart! Your tart looks wonderful, sweetie! Full of colors and flavors…


4 Mike of Mike's Table June 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I used to feel the same way about puff (and other pastries), but now I’ve taken the Julia Child stance on it: everything is better with butter! lol, I’m sure I’ll change my tune the next I get my cholesterol checked, but until then…

My cholesterol aside though, this is a beautiful tart. I really like that you did something savory, but I also am really taken with how it looks (and those peppers!).


5 Rachel June 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I love puff pastry..love the choice of your fillings, toppings…the first pic is excellent!!!


6 Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) June 20, 2008 at 1:30 pm

I am so impressed that you found peppadews. Do you know that they are now making a golden variety too.
Anyway, this tart looks absolutely scrumptious…..


7 Pearlsofeast June 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Me too feel the same with Puff pastry sheets but I loved to see it loaded with veggies. nice recipe.


8 JZ @ Tasty treats June 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm

ooohh wow!! sunita…its looks sooo tempting!! i have to try this sometime soon!!!


9 Shilpa June 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Wow..looks absolutely lovely. You are tempting me to try this …


10 Priya June 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm

I love the piquante peppers Sunita! The spicy sweet note in them is soo good. I add it to my cous cous salad and pasta’s and sandwichs, or may be I just keep looking for excuses to eat them :D Love the tart too, and you should have an email from me ?


11 Sukanya Ramkumar June 20, 2008 at 4:34 pm

WOW… Excellent tart. Looks great. Lovely color combination. YUM!. Nice picture….


12 KALVA June 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Think i have a sheet of puff pasty sitting in the fridge,, i know what to do with it now!!!


13 karuna June 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm

this looks really colourfull. i use puff passtry sheets to make veg patties, the one u getin indian bakery shops. i knw its difficult to resist them, specially knowing the ease with which u can create somthing delish….


14 Sunshinemom June 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Beautiful pictures, and tasty recipes..what else could one want?!!


15 sunita June 20, 2008 at 7:43 pm

happy cook,
Thanks..do check out those peppers..you’ll be hookeds :-P

Being loaded with veggies did reduce the guilt to a great extent :-)

Thanks..we did love ot a lot, I must say.


16 sunita June 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm

lol…that’s some justification :-D D…thanks though :-)

Thanks…well, I must admit that I do like it…if only it was not so buttery (sigh)

Thanks…will keep an eye for those golden ones…we loved these peppers :-)


17 sunita June 20, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Thanks :-)

Thanks…do give it a try, we really loved it :-)

Thanks…do try it :-)

Our love affair with these little beauties is quite recent…I too have been looking for excuses to use them up :-)


18 Lisa June 20, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Three cheers for weakness! I know what you mean about all that fat in puff pastry, but sometimes a treat is in order!


19 sunita June 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm

thanks :-)

Now go and get that puff pastry sheet :-P

Yes, they are really handy, I must say :-)

Thanks :-)


20 arundati June 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm

absolutely in love with the colours of the puff pastry…..fat and all things fattening be damned!! what a lovely, colourful and fabulous looking dinner!!


21 Mansi Desai June 20, 2008 at 8:25 pm

The tart looks delicious, but those peppers look even better! loved it Sunita!:)


22 Dee June 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm

ok , bookmarked to make mini versions again!!!! love the pictures sunita!!!


23 Kalai June 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I absolutely agree with you, Sunita! But, this tart looks like it was definitely worth the indulgence!! Magnificent! :)


24 TBC June 20, 2008 at 11:57 pm

How good does that look, Sunita!!
Love the colors.:)


25 A&N June 21, 2008 at 2:34 am

Hi Sunita, beautiful tart, awesome pictures! Can we add you to our blogroll?


26 Arundathi June 21, 2008 at 3:28 am

oh no – sometimes you’ve just gotta go ahead and have that puff pastry!! and your peppers look so good! I would’ve added jalapenos! :-)


27 Srivalli June 21, 2008 at 5:52 am

Sunita!!!…you are torturing me!!!!…:((((…what a lovely looking pufff..I am really really tempted


28 SMN June 21, 2008 at 6:27 am

Sunita, Pastry is so tempting wth thsose stuffing.. yummy..


29 Siri June 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Sunita – even I love puffpastry but hate its butter content!..

the tart looks sinfully yummy!!



30 Mandira June 21, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Sunita, this captures all the delicious summer vegetables in one dish. Love the pics!


31 Susan from Food Blogga June 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Oh, Sunita, these photos are just stunning. And that puff pastry looks like it’s worth every calorie.


32 Sig June 22, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Sunita, very few veggie dishes makes me drool… and this sure is one of those…. Great picture!


33 Nags June 23, 2008 at 12:17 am

whenever i see u have a new post, i know i am going to pine for an oven even more than i do now and i was right! this looks so delish. i see puff pastry sheets all the time when i go shopping but refrain since i will be getting an oven only in august :)


34 Andhra Flavors June 23, 2008 at 2:44 am

Sunita, Your tart looks wonderful, and Full of colors and flavors…


35 FoodieFriend June 23, 2008 at 4:54 am

puff pastry looks yummy!
It’s simply WOW!


36 sunita June 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Thanks :-D D

Yes, this was definitely a treat :-)

thanks…and yes, those pepers are awesome :-)

Actually I thought of making individual portions too…just felt too lazy :-)


37 sunita June 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Thanks…and yes, sometimes one does need to let go :-)

thanks :-)

thanks..and of course, go ahead and add me to your blogroll :-)

Thanks…we did not regret the indulgence :-)


38 sunita June 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Sorry to toture you so…but now you can make it yourself :-)

thanks :-)

Thanks…it was an indulgence :-)

Thank you dear :-)


39 sunita June 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Yes, worth every one of it :-)

Yay!Now, isn’t that a sure success :-)

When you get the oven, you will have so many recipes to choose from..won’t that be great :-)


40 Namratha June 26, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Your food is always so beautiful that I really wouldn’t be able to eat it if I ever had to…hehe! Awesome!


41 sunita June 27, 2008 at 11:49 am

:-) )…but what about those gorgeous cakes that you decorate…I wouldn’t have the heart to cut into them :-P


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