It is hot outside. Like, so hot. I am barely tossing together salads these days, let alone turning my oven to 450 for a nice golden tart crust. However, looking through photos recently, I realized I never did anything with the ones I took of a pretty decent smoked salmon tart I made for Mother’s Day this spring. Consider this a #latergram.
If you have a thoroughly air-conditioned kitchen, this would be an excellent dish to make ahead and have for cold summer lunches, or serve with mixed greens and chilled rosé for a perfect summer dinner.
For the base of my recipe, I used this one from the BBC. I liked two things about it. (1) It called for a quite easy custard mix of egg and cream, no separate heating or complicated multi-step whisking, and (2) it added thin slices of potato to the usual combo of salmon and dill. Potatoes are such a natural pairing with both dill and cream bases, and I felt they would provide a nice textural dimension in a tart that would otherwise melt in your mouth.
Steam the potatoes rather than boil them as the BBC suggests–it takes less time overall, and it’s easier to keep the potato slices intact with the gentler cooking method.
I threw in much more dill than strictly called for, and used lemon instead of lime as that’s what I had around. Otherwise I stuck close to the recipe in an attempt to overcome my naturally relaxed approach to cooking–custard-filled pastry does not take kindly to anarchy.
This was a successful smoked salmon tart. Lovely, if not perfect: well-set custard, not too rich but rich enough to complement the fish and potatoes, and against which the dill and lemon popped.
(The shortcrust was gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Sparing you the photos because really, how many pictures of crust can a person look at in his lifetime, but I did a much better job with this one than my delicious Thomas Keller failure of recent memory.)