I know I’m stating the obvious, but I love baking; most importantly I love baking from scratch. Nothing can really beat a fluffy home-made cake made with creamy butter and free-range eggs, or a freshly baked loaf of bread. There are just the occasional moments when I’ll cheat… only just a little and really only when puff pastry is involved!
I know I could make puff pastry, I’ve masses of recipes from the haloed halls of baking and pastry Gods and Goddesses, but in truth whenever I’ve really fancied something that calls for puff pastry I’ve not got the time to fold, roll, chill… fold, roll, chill for 8 hours straight! So for those times when a carb, butter flaky pastry fest is required I keep the freezer stocked with ready-to-go pastry.
Therefore as a self-confessed fan of my staple cheat ingredient, when Jus-Rol contacted me and asked if I’d put their pastry to the test, I was all in for some winter-warming pastry goodness.
Jus-Rol is a brand most people will probably be familiar with, they’ve been going since 1954 and are the number 1 brand in the UK. I’ve been using their pastry for as along as I remember; usually the filo sheets and the puff pastry; but my little weight-watching heart skipped a beat when they launched their light puff pastry. So with the vouchers Jus-Rol kindly sent me, I sauntered on down to my local food haunt and stocked up on this new delight!
Keeping with the healthier option I decided to stick with a tomato based tart, something that I put together fairly easily and seeing as there are only two of us, would keep for another day ; which also meant I could but the “second day soggy pastry” theory to the test. You know the one, when it’s perfect and crispy the first day and when it’s been in the fridge overnight, it sort of goes a bit soggy and looses it’s appeal.
Well, I can vouch for this tart not going soggy neither during the first bake, nor overnight; I think it’s probably a combination of the pastry, but also that the tomatoes were well roasted before I layered them up. (That there is a top tip… make sure your tomatoes are nicely roasted).
We had the tart for supper over two nights, sprinkled with a little crumbled feta before it went in the oven, a mixture of different tomatoes for both taste and making it look pretty, then served with a simple rocket salad. To be honest, it would work with pretty much anything but it doesn’t need much else.
I suppose you’re wondering how the lighter version of the puff pasty held up on the taste side of things; really well! It still had a lovely flakey texture, and it still tasted as rich as a full-fat pastry, just maybe not having that really buttery after-taste. All in all, I think I’d probably make sure I’ve a couple of sheets in the freezer for emergencies.
So, here goes the recipe… the pastry sheets are so versatile that there’s nothing stopping you completely switching out the filling for something different; but trust me the tomatoes are good!
- 750-1000g Mixed variety tomatoes
- 1 sheet Puff pastry - eg Ready to Roll sheet (320g)
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs Fresh thyme, chopped
- 50g Feta cheese, crumbled
- Rapeseed oil
- Preheat oven to 200C or 180C (fan) and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Thinly slice all the tomatoes; smaller cherry tomatoes can be sliced in half if preferred.
- Arrange the tomatoes onto the baking sheets, ensuring that they don't overlap.
- Place the tomatoes in the oven for 15-20 minutes over until they have started to dry out. Try not to over roast the tomatoes as you will be baking them again when the tart is assembled.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven, and allow to cool.
- Whilst the tomatoes are cooling, line a third baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Roll the pastry out until it is approximately 1cm wider, on all sides, than the baking sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, score a line in the pastry about 1cm in from the edge, all the way around. Be careful not to cut through the pastry.
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed garlic tomato puree and the fresh thyme. Keep half a sprig of thyme aside for sprinkling on top.
- Spread the tomato puree mix over the pastry, inside the lines that you scored.
- Carefully lift the tomatoes from the baking sheets, and layer on top of the tomato puree, overlapping each layer.
- Scatter the crumbled Feta cheese over the top of the tomatoes, drizzle with Rapeseed oil and season with black pepper and sea salt. If you have any thyme left over sprinkle this over the top.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes are slightly charred.
- Allow the tart to settle for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Jus-rol Light Puff Pastry sheets and other Jus-rol products are available in most supermarkets between £1.25 and £2.65. With thanks to Jus-Rol for the product selection for review.