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Baby Spinach Tarts

Makes 20

Ingredients

PARMESAN PASTRY

  • 1 1/2 cups/185 g flour
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 100 g butter, chopped
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons water - iced

SPINACH FILLING

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 8 spinach leaves, shredded
  • 125 g ricotta cheese, drained
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup/90 mL milk 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts

Method

1 To make pastry, place flour, parmesan cheese and butter in a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With machine running, slowly add enough water to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly. Wrap dough in plastic food wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2 Preheat oven to 200 C/Gas 6.

3 Roll out pastry to 3 mm thick. Using an 8 cm fluted pastry cutter, cut out twenty pastry rounds. Place pastry rounds in lightly greased patty tins. Pierce base and sides of pastry with a fork. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Reduce oven temperature to 180 C/Gas 4.

4 To make filling, heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add spring onions, garlic and spinach. Cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted. Cool.

5 Combine spinach mixture, ricotta cheese, eggs, milk and nutmeg in a bowl. Spoon filling into pastry cases. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tarts are golden and filling is set.

Cook's tip: The pastry cases can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container. Or make the cases several weeks in advance and freeze them. The filling mixture can be made earlier in the day, then covered and kept in the refrigerator until just prior to cooking.

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