Deep Sea Tart

This is a cold savoury tart with a delicious creamy filling of subtly flavoured squid with avocados and prawns. If you have never tasted squid, it is mild and delicious and sold fresh now in several fishmongers. This is a pretty-looking dish and good for parties too.

Ingredients

For the Pastry Crust

  • 8 oz plain flour (225 g)
  • 4 oz soft margarine or butter (110 g)
  • 2 oz lard (50 g)
  • 1 large egg – beaten

For the Filling

  • ¾ lb squid (350 g)
  • 1 large or 2 small avocado pears
  • 3 oz peeled prawns (75 g)
  • ½ pint (double) cream (275 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mace, or powdered nutmeg
  • juice of ½ small lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • salt, black pepper
  • butter and oil to fry in

Method

To make the pastry cut the fat into the flour and rub in lightly with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the beaten egg with a knife. Gather into a ball and refrigerate for an hour or more. Then roll out and line a buttered 9–10 in shallow flan dish (23–25.5 cm), preferably the aluminium kind with the lifting out base. Heat oven to fairly hot, Gas 6 (400°F/200°C). Put a piece of foil across the pastry, weight it down with dried beans or rice and bake blind for about 20 minutes until cooked. Cut any extra pastry into little rounds or shapes and cook at the same time as the tart (though they may cook a bit quicker), and use them to decorate with later. Take out and cool.

Chop the squid into very small pieces. (You may have to extract a strange transparent bone but all else is edible, though you may like to leave out the goggling black eyes!) Fry gently in a little olive oil and butter for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add 2 oz (50 g) of the prawns (reserve the rest) and the avocado pear peeled and cut into chunks. Stir the powdered mace, the crushed garlic, the lemon juice, salt and black pepper into the cream and stir into the fish mixture. Heat oven to moderate Gas 5 (375°F/190°C). Pour the creamy mixture into the pastry case and put back in the oven for 8 minutes. Decorate with the remainder of the prawns and the pastry shapes if you have them. Serve cool.

,