Pissaladieres

Pissaladieres (pce-sah-lah-dee-yair) are small pastry cases filled with a mixture of onions, garlic, anchovies, olives and tomatoes – and very typical of the cuisine of the South of France. If you prefer, you can make one 9-inch tart instead.

Serve with a tossed green salad and a good robust red wine.

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter

1 oz. vegetable fat to

4 tablespoons iced water

2 fl. oz. olive oil

6 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced garlic cloves, crushed large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 oz. canned anchovies, drained and chopped

27 black olives, stoned

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

First make the pastry cases. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add

2 ounces of the butter and the vegetable fat and cut them into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread-crumbs. Add

3 tablespoons of the water and mix it in with the knife. Form the dough into a ball, adding more water if the dough is too dry.

Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrig-erator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). With the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter, grease 9 fluted tartlet tins. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an oblong about -}-inch thick. With a 4-inch pastry cutter, cut out 9 circles of dough. Line the tartlet tins with the dough circles and crimp the edges.

Prick the dough all over with a fork. Line the tins with aluminium foil and place a layer of dried beans on top. Place the tins on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and remove the foil and beans. Return the tartlet tins to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the tartlets from the oven. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove the pastry cases from the tins.

Arrange the pastry cases on a serving platter. Set aside and keep warm while you make the filling.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Fry, stirring occa-sionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the tomatoes, puree, anchovies, olives, salt and pepper and stir. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the filling is heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before serving.

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