If you want to read all about the wonderful produce on the island and experience some of the local life here see my Note from the heart of the Mediterranean of today.
I am sharing with you now a recipe I created for Brilliant Baking Magazine, June issue.
For the pistachio crust click here for step by step instructions
the secret of blind baking
You will need:
200 ml olive oil (if you are looking for a very ‘short’ and rich pastry, substitute this with 400g butter)
Pinch of salt
Few Drops freshly squeezed lemon
100g pistachios. Roughly ground.
(These quantities will give you the equivalent to line 2 tart dishes and make this bake)
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix. Add the olive oil. Rub in the oil until you have a consistent texture. The feel of using oil is silkier, more satiny, less grainy than the rubbing in butter method. Grind the pistachios in a processor, not too finely. Add the pistachios add to the flour mixture. Add the egg and work it into the mix. Bind the dough by adding two spoons of cold water and repeating until you have the right consistency. Bring the dough together, knead lightly and leave in the fridge to rest for half an hour. Open up the dough with a rolling pin. Roll out until its smooth and consistent. Place neatly onto a tart dish that has been brushed with olive oil. Pat the pastry gently into place. Allow it to hang over the edge and trim it about 1/4 inch over the rim. Pierce it all over, neatly with a sharp fork. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Take out and remove the access pastry by applying pressure from the rolling pin onto the edge of the tart dish. Remove the access pieces and return to the oven for another 5 minutes to crisp a bit more.
For the filling, you will need :
Maldon Salt and freshly ground pepper
200g fresh cooked or canned Artichokes
Basil flowers or leaves
Mash the ricotta with a fork. Add the eggs. Beat until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Slice the artichokes and arrange them neatly on the surface. Bake in the oven at 180 C until lighly golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then arrange the edible basil flowers on top. Serve hot or cold.