Thursday, 16 January 2014

Chestnut and Red Onion Tarts


I've made these delicious tarts a few times over the holiday period and have been asked for the recipe on each occasion so, as I haven't written any food posts for a while, now seems like a good opportunity.  The new internet sanctions coming into force may jeopardise all but food and travel blogs in Turkey hence it's time to up my foodie credentials.  These tarts can either be made as small bite-size canapés or a large tray bake to serve with salad as a supper dish.  When buying chestnuts, choose the biggest ones you can find; in Turkey I favour Bursa Kestane. They are more expensive but are much easier to peel and in the end you will get more cooked chestnuts for your money.


For the pastry
200 gr plain flour
100 gr butter
pinch of salt
cold water 

For the filling
3 large red onions
500gr chestnuts
200gr white/feta cheese
olive oil for frying


I make my shortcrust pastry the old fashioned way by rubbing the butter into the flour and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then adding chilled water slowly by the tablespoon until the mixture comes together  and can be made into a ball.  When pushed for time, I've  put all ingredients except water into a food processor and whizzed it together before slowly adding the water and this also makes acceptable pastry, but it's not a light as the finger-tip method.  Most important is to wrap the pastry ball in film and chill for at least an hour.  While it's in the fridge, make the filling by cutting a cross in the rounded side of each chestnut. Place on a tray in an oven preheated to 200C for 20 minutes, turning each chestnut over after 10 minutes. Set aside to cool until you can easily handle them, but don't let them get cold because this makes getting the skins off  much more difficult.  Peal and chop the onions and fry until soft but not browned in a splash of olive oil.  


Roll the pastry as thinly as you can and either cut circles for a tart tin or line a large baking tray, you should have plenty of pastry over to keep in the fridge for another day.   Break the pealed chestnuts into smaller pieces and mix into the onions and either fill the tarts with this mixture or spread it over your pastry base.  Break the cheese up with a fork (I find rinsing feta in water before I use it improves the flavour) and sprinkle over the onion mix.  I bake this for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 200C. If you have the option to have the heat in the oven coming from the base, you will get crisper pastry.
If you can't find chestnuts or can't be bothered to prepare them, use 100 grams of pine nuts instead. 

23 comments:

  1. Looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Is it really possible that blogs will be cracked down on in Turkey - how dreadful. Very little news gets through directly to us here in Andalucia but of course, we can search and find out quite a lot. None of it good, either. Such a dreadful shame.
    And as you cover food and travel on your blog, I'm sure we'll continue to get a real flavour of the country that way.. Axxx

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  2. Noboby knows what will happen yet Annie, just that controls will be much more stringent and as in the past both Blogger and You Tube have been banned, we know that it doesn't take much to offend.

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  3. Not more controls and censorship! I do hope you manage to escape notice. This recipe sounds delicious and has been duly bookmarked for future use.

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    1. We'll keep our fingers crossed and our noses clean

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  4. Those tarts look delicious...definitely a recipe to try.

    What's this about sanctions...I'm definitely out of the loop. Do I need to start talking about travelling in Turkey and posting recipes to make sure I'm safe?

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  5. Hi Ayak - there are yet more controls being introduced to monitor the internet. I think we are both pretty careful about what we say, but it's worth thinking twice before committing thoughts to the ether.

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  6. This sounds yummy Annie I will give it a try.

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    1. They would be good for your canapé parties as they are nice both hot and cold

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  7. The chestnuts here are pretty dire....I must look round for a better source as these would be fun to make.

    A dreadful situation to be in, to worry about what you put on a blog.....

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    1. Cheese and red onion are good together on their own, you could drop the chestnuts.

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  8. Delicious as always. I'll get Liam to get the mixing bowl out! As someone who was caught in the lazy Turkish censor's net twice, I really hope the screws aren't turned too tightly.

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    1. I remember you going off air. Hope it doesn't happen again

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  9. Hi,

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much. As a cook, I use your site a lot. I have added your widget.

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  10. Blimey, Annie! That's weird enough to be worth a go! As for this latest bit of censorship type nonsense, big money/business has already told them to back off!

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    1. Weird?? Alan I haven't put worms in it , that would be weird.

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  11. B to B, Well, yes, under normal circumstances, a food blog post would seem relatively harmless. But if, as Alan says, the recipe is weird, well . . . I don't know. (Just joking! I haven't made a pie crust since I came to Turkey over 5 years ago. Maybe this will inspire me.)

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    1. I can't believe you have made an all American apple pie at least once since you've been here.

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  12. Love the sound of this savory tart with chestnuts, look forward to trying them out - eline saglik :)

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    1. I've just remembered that I put a srig of rosemary on the first ones I made - never mind!

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  13. These tarts look amazing. Afiyet olsun!

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  14. Hmm this look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.


    Simon

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