Lockdown Comfort Cooking

Cheddar and Spring Onion Tart by Mark Kempson the Chef at Kings Arms Hotel, Hampton Court

A well made tart is a wonderful thing and has the ability to deliver a great deal of flavour and pleasure. This tart is a perfect treat for the weekend, personally when it is fresh I like to cut a slice and serve with some roasted vine tomatoes and a peppery radish salad. Enjoy!

(makes one 20cm x 3.5cm tart)

Shortcrust pastry
225g Plain Flour (sifted)
112g Cold Diced Unsalted Butter
2 Egg Yolks
1 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Cold Water

250g Red Onion (finely sliced)
100g Strong Mature Cheddar (grated)
12 Spring Onions (finely sliced)
4 Eggs
250 ml Double Cream
1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
Salt and Pepper

Note: before you start set you oven to 160°c


The Pastry

Place the flour and salt into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and egg, mix to form the dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.

The Filling

Place a medium size saucepan on a low heat. Add the oil, red onions and seasoning. Sweat down with a lid on, stir regularly to ensure that the onions do not caramelise or colour. Remove from the heat when soft and tender (10-15 minutes) drain any liquid. Place the sweated onions in a large mixing bowl and allow them to cool. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and gently whisk, add the cream, mix and season. Add the cheddar and spring onions. Pour over the sweated red onions and mix well. Cover with cling film and allow to stand at room temperature whilst you prepare the tart case.

The Tart

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Line the tart case and then chill for 5 minutes. Once chilled trim the excess pastry around the tart and line with baking paper and baking beans, Place in the oven and bake until golden (normally 15 minutes). Remove from the oven then take out the baking beans and baking paper. Place the tart case back in the oven and then pour in the filling. Bake for around 45 minutes, turning after 20 minutes to ensure an even cook. When the tart is nicely golden on top and set remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 5 minutes. Now remove the tart from the case to prevent it sweating. Place on a cooling rack for a further 25 minutes.

Once the tart is cooled serve as desire. 


For more information about Kings Arms Hotel, Hampton Court Click HERE

Rayeesa's Onion & Mixed Vegetable Bhajis  
(Makes enough for 15-20 bahjis) 


100g gram flour (chickpea flour)
1 large (2 med) white onion (sliced)
Handful each of Cauliflower, green beans, aubergine (or whatever veg you may have)
1 tsp. ground cumin1 
1/2  tsp. garlic & ginger paste
1- 2 tsp. chilli powder
Small handful of chopped fresh coriander
1-2 fresh green chillies (finely chopped)- optional
Salt to taste
¼ cup of warm water
Vegetable oil for frying ( enough to fry in 1-2" oil). 


Method for the bahjis:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together with the fresh coriander.
2. Add the onions and/ or other vegetables and mix together to coat well.
3. Slowly start adding the water to form a light  coated batter, that starts to glisten. (make sure that the batter is even and not too thick or thin)
4. Add the vegetable oil to a heavy based frying pan and heat allowing the oil to become hot, but not smoking. Caution: take care when frying due to the oil spitting.
5. Add spoonfuls of batter mixture carefully into the oil, a few at a time, trying not to overcrowd the pan as this will affect the cooking.
6. Fry gently, turning over occasionally for 3 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
7. Remove the fried bahjis with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain before transferring to serving dish.
8. Either serve straight away or keep warm in a low oven (100°C) until ready to serve.
(These can be batch cooked and removed from the oil slightly earlier before cooling and freezing, to then be reheated in the oven at 180 C for 15 mins.)

Rayeesa is passionate about sharing the flavours of her native Hyderabad and has developed the Spiced by Rayeesa range of frozen curry sauces. In September 2017, Rayeesa put her products in front of the fierce Dragon’s Den investors and received high praise for her sauces. For more information click HERE.