Smoked Fish Tart

Notes: Serves 6. Goes well with salad—but, if you include cress, I'll kill you.


For the pastry:


    125g (4½oz) butter, cold and in small chunks
  • 200g (7oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 large egg yolk
For the filling:


    3 large eggs
  • 300ml double cream (a 284ml carton will do)
  • 65ml (2½fl oz) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 rounded tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 2 x 220g packs kipper fillets
  • freshly ground black pepper

You will also need a 23cm (9in) x 3cm (1¼in) deep non-stick, loose-bottomed tart tin.


To make the pastry:


    either rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips till the mixture resembles fine, fresh breadcrumbs, or blitz briefly in a food processor;
  • mix in the egg yolk with 2–3 tablespoons of ice-cold water, and bring together in your hands to form a ball;
  • roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Line the tart tin with the pastry, taking great care that there are no cracks (if there are, the filling will definitely leak out);
  • set the pastry aside in the fridge to rest for a good half hour, just to be sure it doesn't shrink when it goes in the oven;
  • preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6;
  • prick the pastry all over with a fork, place the tart case on a metal baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, until it is the colour of a pale biscuit and is dry to the touch;
  • having removed the tart case from the oven, turn the oven down to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4.
While the tart case is baking, make the filling:


    mix the eggs, cream and milk with a small whisk, then stir in the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and a little black pepper (no salt);
  • unpack the kippers and discard any butter packed with them. Tear off the skin and discard (use your fingers for the easy bits, then trim remainder with knife).
When the tart case is ready:


    cut the fish into pieces, about 1–2cm (½–3/4in) in length, and put them loosely into the tart case. It will seem quite full;
  • pour the filling over the fish, dust with the remaining tablespoon of parmesan and slide carefully into the oven;
  • bake for 25–30 minutes, until the filling is lightly set;
  • leave to cool for 15 minutes or so before eating.


  1. I'm sure this is a fine dish but its rendering - in black on dark grey - is suggestive of something rather stormy!

  2. Smoked fish tart being an anagram of rotted fish mask...still the Captain's influence lingers...

    (Ok, I know I shouldn't really count fish as an anagram of fish)

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