Tomato, saffron and parmesan tartletsDelicious as a snack or…

Tomato, saffron and parmesan tartlets

Delicious as a snack or entrance, check the recipe below

  • Makes 6
  • Hands-on 40 min, simmering 1 hour, oven 45 min, plus chilling
  • Medium


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 800g plum tomatoes, skinnedand chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 6 small fresh bay leaves,scrunched up a bit
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn intosmall pieces
  • Small pinch saffron strands
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 large free-range eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 25g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 250g (about 30) small, mixed yellow and red vine cherry tomatoes

For the pastry cases

  • 225g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 65g chilled butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 65g chilled lard, cut into small pieces (see tip)
  • 25g parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp cold water

You’ll also need:

  • 6 x 10cm tartlet tins, 3cm deep


  1. Make the filling. Put the olive oil and garlic in a medium pan over a medium heat. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes, sugar and bay leaves. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until well reduced and thickened. It mustn’t be at all wet or sloppy. When it’s just about to start catching on the base of the pan, it’s ready. Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, for the pastry cases, sift the flour and ó tsp salt into a food processor, add the butter and lard, then whizz together briefly until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the parmesan, then add the water and whizz briefly until the mixture comes together in a ball. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth, then divide into six pieces (about 70g each). Roll out into 15cm discs, then use to line 6 lightly buttered tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork and chill for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan, then add the saffron strands and toss around for a few seconds. Tip into a mortar and leave to cool (they will go brittle). Meanwhile, warm 2 tbsp of the cream in a small pan. Grind the saffron to a fine powder with the pestle, then add to the cream and set aside.
  4. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6 with a baking sheet inside. Line the pastry cases with small squares of foil and fill with baking beans. Put on the hot baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until the edges are biscuit-coloured. Remove the foil and beans, then return the cases to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the bases are golden. Remove from the oven and lower the heat to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.
  5. Beat the eggs, egg yolk, saffron  mixture and remaining cream in a jug, then stir in the 25g parmesan and salt to taste. Spoon an equal amount of the tomato sauce into each tartlet case. Top with about 5 tomatoes, then carefully pour over some creamy saffron mixture. Put on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until set and lightly golden.

Tips: If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) lard, you can use the same quantity of butter.Make the pastry the day before and chill overnight. Continue from step 4. To drink: The richness of the tart is best with a soft, white mâcon from Burgundy.

Nutritional info per serving

Per tartlet

  • Calories  576kcals
  • Fat  43.7g (21.7g saturated)
  • Protein  11.8g
  • Carbohydrates  34.8g (7.2g sugars)
  • Fibre  4g
  • Salt  0.8g