How to Make a Puff Pastry Tart Shell
I’m no more a fan of a soggy bottom than Mary Berry is so I prebake my puff pastry shell on a pizza baking tray which has aeration holes in it. This more reliably produces the crisp bottomed tart I’m after… 😉
Roll the pastry out to fit the tray and score a 2cm border all the way around the circumference. Fork the centre circle all over and leave the base to rest in the fridge for an hour before baking. Brushing the pastry with a little plant milk before it goes in to bake also helps it to crisp up. Put it in a hot oven (220C/428F) for 10-15 mins until it is risen and golden then squash the middle down gently before returning it to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the base.
Roasting carrots brings out the best in them, all caramelly carroty goodness. I sliced my carrots in half lengthways but if you have very thin carrots just keep them whole. If they are very chunky, slice them into thirds. Roast them in a little olive oil with some salt and ground black pepper until they are beginning to brown but still have a bit of bite – they are going back in the oven as part of the tart later so you don’t want to overdo them at this stage.
Once the base is crisp, you could just spoon in some hummus, top it with the carrots, cook it and serve it up. However, I wanted to give my tart a bit more oomph and the real depth of flavour which only comes with some slowly cooked caramelised onions. The long, slow, patient cooking of a batch of onions results in a meltingly delicious treat and, in this recipe, adds both texture and that extra flavour I was after.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Gently fry the onion slices, covered, for about 45 minutes until very soft and golden – you made need to add a little water every now and again to stop them sticking or burning.
Tips, Tricks and a Few Alternatives
- Use ready made pastry and shop bought hummus and this is a very quick and easy carrot tart recipe indeed!
- If you want to make your own hummus why not ring the changes and make my split pea hummus? Full of lovely earthy flavours and well textured, it is perfect in a pie!
- Thyme goes so well with carrots so I added a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves as a finishing touch tart. Try sage, rosemary or chopped chilli instead.
- Drizzle a little carrot top pesto over the tart in and – hey presto – no food waste!
- I used ready made puff pastry but you could wrap the filling up in filo pastry instead and make a big carrot and hummus parcel!
Hummus and carrot tart is fabulous cold as part of a picnic spread or as finger food on the Christmas buffet table and the hummus and onion base is great for for lots of savoury tart fillings – top beetroot hummus with roasted beetroot for a pink explosion or Moroccan spiced hummus with roasted Mediterranean vegetables.
Looking for More Vegan Picnic Recipe Ideas? Try My:
- Vegan picnic pies,
- Vegan sausage rolls
- Full English breakfast muffins
- Three grain salad with roast pepper dressing
- Chocolate orange muffins
- Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Garlic Tart
Hummus and Carrot Tart
- pizza pan or baking tray
- 6 slender carrots, halved lengthways
- 400 g/3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300 g ready made vegan puff pastry
- 1 tbsp plant based milk
- 150 g hummus
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Lightly grease a 33.5cm/13" pizza pan or baking tray
- Roll your puff pastry out into a circle to fit and place it onto the pizza pan
- Score a line about 2cm (3/4 inch) in from the edge of the pastry all the way around
- Use a fork to prick the pastry all over in the centre circle (not the outer edge)
- Leave to rest in the fridge for an hour
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Gently fry the onion slices, covered, for about 45 minutes until very soft and golden - you made need to add a little water every now and again to stop them sticking or burning
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F
- Halve your carrots lengthways, toss them in 1 tbsp of the olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast at 190C/375F for 15 minutes until just browning but still with bite. Set aside
- Increase oven temperature to 220C/428F
- Brush your prepared pastry with a little plant based milk
- Bake your pastry for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven, squash the centre circle with the back of a spoon and return to the oven for about 3 minutes for a really crisp base, set aside
- Lower the oven temperature to 190C/375F
- Stir the hummus into the cooked onions, add salt and pepper to taste
- Spoon the hummus and onion mix into the cooked pastry shell and spread evenly, top with the roasted carrots and thyme leaves. Return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through.
- Serve hot, cold or at room temperature