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Sunshine on a rainy day tarte

I gave this tarte this name, because I made it on a wild, windy day at half term when all three children (and I) were going mad with cabin fever.  Despite the chill and gloom we managed to bring a ray of sunshine into the house with the sweet courgettes and tomatoes.  Most recipes call on the cook to skin and then deseed their tomatoes.  While I know it might taste better in the end, I usually do not have the time to do this, and this filling was great despite skin and seeds.  Although there are several stages to make this, think of this as a blessing, it means you can make it in short snaps of time between playing with the kids or popping out to do fun things.  Or between tears, arguments and sorting out domestic chaos, if your life is more like mine.
  • cheese pastry
  • large splash olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 courgettes, sliced medium thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped into quarters and then into quarters again
  • 1 tbsp capers, if you fancy them
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 200 ml double cream/ milk and double cream mix
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • handful grated cheddar cheese
  • seasoning
  1. Make the cheese pastry, leave to sit and then roll into a large circle, line a tarte dish with it.  Prick the pastry with a fork, then bake blind for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook the onion in the olive oil until golden and sweet.  Add the courgettes and fry with the onions until a little golden.  
  3. Add the garlic, tomatoes and thyme.  Allow to simmer on the hob, uncovered, for a while until it is cooked through and the vegetables have broken up.  You may need to add the odd splash of water so it does not dry out too much.  
  4. In a separate jug measure out and mix the cream/ milk, eggs, cheese and seasoning.  
  5. When you are ready to assemble, transfer the tomato /courgette /onion /capers filling into the cheese pastry.  Pour the cream/egg/cheese mixture over. Transfer to a medium-hot oven (170-180 C) for about 20 -30 minutes. 
  6. Check while cooking, turn if necessary to make sure that all the edges are cooking at the same time, and add another small handful of grated cheese on the top if you are feeling absolutely in need of indulgence.