Spinach, Raisin and Potato Tart


serves 6 - 8
225 g (8 oz) plain shortcrust pastry
25 g (1 oz) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks or 1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 medium-sized potatoes, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
450 g (1 Ib) spinach leaves, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, plus extra for garnishing
115 g (4 oz) grated Cheddar cheese
55 g (2 oz) raisins, plumped up in boiling water for a minute or two, then drained
4 eggs, beaten
225 ml (8 fl oz) single cream


1. Line a deep 23cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

2. Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan, add the leeks or onion and fry gently until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue frying for a couple more minutes before removing the pan from the heat. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pan of boiling water, season with salt, return to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the potatoes are just beginning to become tender. Drain, season with black pepper and set aside.

4. Cook the spinach in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain off, squeeze out any excess water with your hands and lay out on a clean tea towel. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and leave to dry for 1-2 minutes.

5. Spread half the cheese over the base of the pre-baked tart case, then top with a thin layer of potatoes, followed by a thin layer of spinach. Sprinkle half of the raisins on top. Continue with one more layer in the same order, reserving a little cheese for the top, then add a final layer of the softened leeks or onions and garlic mixture.

6. Place the eggs in a jug and mix with the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and slowly pour the mixture over the tart, waiting for the mixture to seep down to the bottom layers. This requires patience and ingenuity as by this time the tin seems pretty full and solid; you can make a few holes in the mixture to enable the liquid to percolate successfully.

7. Finish off by sprinkling over the remaining cheese and garnish with a little nutmeg. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until set (test with a knife to check that the potatoes are soft).

8. SERVE hot, warm or cold.

COOK'S TIP - This makes an excellent tart when cooking a Sunday lunch or family supper, as it can be made beforehand. It will also serve 10 -12 as a starter or vegetable dish.

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