For the pastry:
280g plain flour
½ tsp lemon zest, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp very cold water
For the filling:
225g smoked salmon
240ml crème fraîche or double cream, or a mixture
2 tsp finely chopped fresh dill or tarragon or ½ tsp dried
½ tsp paprika
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest, grated
A dash of Tabasco or chilli sauce
Fresh chervil, tarragon or dill leaves or other toppings of your choice to garnish
Mixed salad leaves
3–4 tbsp oil
1–2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- To make the pastry, sift the flour with a pinch of salt and stir in the lemon zest. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Moisten with the egg yolk and a tablespoon of cold water and mix to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170˚C/gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry to fit six 8cm buttered tartlet tins. Prick the pastry bottoms. Line with baking parchment and then fit the tins into each other, putting an empty tin (or foil and dried beans) into the top tin. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, separate the tins and put back in the oven for a further 4–5 minutes or so until crisp but not too brown. These can be made in advance and kept in a tin. Don’t fill them, however, until shortly before serving, so they remain crisp.
- Put the salmon and crème fraîche or cream in a food processor, with the herbs, paprika, lemon juice and rind and a dash of Tabasco or chilli sauce. Taste for flavour. Process until a stiff purée is formed and add a little more cream if it’s too stiff. Chill until required. Divide the filling between the pastry shells and arrange the garnish of your choice on top.
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar to make the dressing. Arrange some salad leaves on each plate and place a tart beside the leaves. Sprinkle a few drops of dressing over the leaves and around the plate.
Try out different garnishes to find your favourite version – slivers of anchovies with capers, halved quails’ eggs, or sprigs of fresh dill.