“Paddington thought for a moment. ‘I think I’ll start in the kitchen,’ he said. ‘I may make some pastry. Bears like pastry.’ “
Excerpt from Paddington and the Busy Day – Michael Bond
I cannot make anything pastry related without thinking of good old Paddington Bear. At the age of one my daughter decided he was the best thing ever – so much so that he was the theme for her second birthday party. (You may remember these marmalade sandwich cookies from a while back.) Her younger brother, now almost two, has followed suit, and we would not dream of tucking him in at night without at least one Paddington adventure to send him off to sleep.
Since I do not have any pastry loving Peruvian bears at home to make it for me, I tend to keep a pack of puff pastry in the freezer. Open tarts make an easy and delicious supper option for week days. I usually make something along the lines of a pesto, chicken and mushroom type of combo but also like to try new flavours every now and then. This veggie version is adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe for sweet potato galettes. I added some butternut cubes and a delicious thyme oil for extra flavour.
If you wanted to make this ahead of time you could prepare the thyme oil and roast the veggies, but be sure to assemble and bake the tarts just before serving. Serve as a starter or alongside a crunchy salad for lunch. To be honest, they also make a great supper!
SWEET POTATO, BUTTERNUT AND CHEVIN TARTS
- 400g puff pastry
- 4 very small sweet potatoes, scrubbed with skins on (about 400g)
- 300g butternut chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sour cream
- 100g soft chevin
1.) Preheat your oven to 200°C. Roll out your puff pastry and cut out four 14cm circles. Place the pastry rounds on a greased tray and pop in the fridge.
2.) Arrange the whole sweet potatoes and butternut chunks (in a single layer) on a greased baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and cut into 5mm slices. Cut the butternut chunks into smaller cubes.
3.) Combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme and some salt and in a small bowl and set aside.
4.) Arrange the pastry circles on a greased tray, allowing some room for spreading. Beat the egg and brush lightly over the pastry. Spoon a layer of sour cream onto each round, leaving a 1/2 cm border. Don’t worry if its not perfectly even.