Tartaletas de pimientos - Spanish red pepper tartlets

Recipe by Neil Morris - 18 March 2013

tartaletas de pimientos

Region: All over Spain

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Oven temp: 200 °C (390 °F)

Difficulty: medium

Serves: 4+

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These small tartlets are popular all over Spain and can be found in delis and tapas bars with many different fillings. This recipe uses roasted red peppers but once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can be really inventive and use any filling of your choice such as grilled aubergine with sun-dried tomatoes or anchovies with black olives.

Red pepper tartlets make a perfect snack or can be served as part of a combined tapas spread. They are very simple to make and are a great way to practice your pastry-making skills! The filling is soft and creamy and you could apply all the methods here to make a larger tart or quiche.

If you do not want to roast your own peppers you could use ready-made ones such as these wonderful wood-fired Piquillo Peppers from Spain. These oak-smoked peppers will add an extra dimension of flavour and can also be used in many other dishes including salads.

Shopping list

  • 1 red pepper (piminton rojo)
  • 1 yellow pepper (pimiento amarillo)
  • oregano (orégano)
  • 175 g/6oz plain flour (harina normal)
  • 75g diced butter chilled (mantequilla)
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water (agua)
  • 120ml double cream (nata)
  • 2 eggs (heuvos)
  • grated manchego cheese ( queso manchego)
  • salt (sal)
  • freshly ground black pepper (pimienta recién molida negro)

Method

Heat the oven to 200 °C (390 °F) and place the peppers on an oiled baking sheet in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally until they are blackened all over. Once they are well-charred, remove the peppers and place them in a glass bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to stand for 10 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, sift the flour into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Then work in the diced butter until the mixture has a sandy texture, almost like breadcrumbs. Add the water and mould gently into a dough. Roll the dough very thinly on a floured surface and cut into circles (you should get 12-14). Push the circles of pastry into the moulds of a muffin tin (they should be big enough to just reach the top) and prick each base with a fork. Then place paper muffin cases or baking parchment inside the pastry bases and fill with dried haricot beans to weigh them down. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then remove the cases and beans.

Whisk the cream and eggs together in a bowl until well combined and then season to taste.

Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, remove the cores and seeds and cut into small strips. Toss the strips of pepper in a little chopped oregano and divide amongst the part-baked pastry cases.

Pour the cream mixture over the peppers and top with a little grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the filling has set and the tartlets are a nice golden colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out. Serve hot or cold.

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