This recipe takes a bit of planning if you want to go with the pickled gooseberries, but it is worth the effort! The Irish Chef Justin Moorehouse has developed another wonderful recipe with produce from the Burren Food Trail, and the result is a delicious recipe with honest ingredients from the west coast of Ireland.
Yields 3 to 4 tartlets
Pickling the gooseberries:
3 parts water
2 parts white vinegar
1 part sugar
110g / 4oz flour
50g / 2oz butter
2 tblsp water
150g Burren smoked Mackerel, plain
100g St.Tola Ashlog Goats Cheese
100ml / 3.5 fl.oz milk
1 tsp seaweed salt
1 tsp black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish
To pickle the gooseberries a week ahead of time, sterilise a jar. Fill the water, vinegar and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow the liquid to cool and fill into the jar with the gooseberries, and close the lid tightly. Store in a dark cool space.
Heat up the oven to 180°C / 360°F.
To make the shortcrust pastry, blend the flour and butter, and add a bit of water at a time to bring it all together. Roll the pastry into a ball, cling film it and chill for an hour.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is about 1 to 1.5mm thick. Grease and flour a muffin tin. Depending on the size of the depressions in the tin, choose a big pint glass or similar to cut out the pastry. Gently press the circles into the muffin tin, lay them out with greaseproof paper and fill them with ceramic beans. Bake the pastry for about 8-10 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filing by whisking the eggs with the milk. Then add the crumbled goats cheese, seaweed salt and pepper to the egg mix.
Remove the muffin tin from the oven, and lift out the ceramic beans. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C / 320°F.
With your hands, crumble the mackerel into the pastry shells and divide the egg mix among the pastry shells. Bake for 15 minutes.
Use a knife to trim the edges of the pastry shells. Carefully remove the tartlets as not to break them. Arrange them on a plate and add the pickled gooseberries. Sprinkle some parsley over the top.