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top with old Smokie; Arbroath Smokie Tart and Salad (serves four).

THERE's just something wonderful about Arbroath smokies.

They're traditional, wholesome fare. And, of course, the best bit is that they are Scottish all the way through!

Smokies are cheap at this time of year, and very easy to cook.

The variety of fillings for savoury tarts are endless and the principles of tart-making are the same in every case, it's just the ingredients that vary.

I've created a simple savoury tart which enhances the taste of the smoke while creating an interesting aroma all its own.

Smokies themselves are best cooked just before serving.

The tarts are very simple and the combination of the pastry and soft filling is exquisite.

They really couldn't be any easier. In fact, you could nip out to your local supermarket or deli and buy ready-made pastry or shortcrust pastry cases if you like, and save the hassle of making them yourself.

If you decide to make your own flan cases, be sure to bake them 'blind'. All that involves is putting greaseproof paper over the pastry and weighing it down with baking beans or dried guises again once the flan is assembled.

The earthy flavour of the herbs combines with the smoked fish to give a nice contrast of tastes and textures.

Serve either hot or cold with a selection of crisp salad leaves and garnish.

RUB the butter, flour and salt together in a mixing bowl until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

Then add the egg and bring it all together into a dough. Knead this lightly three or four times with floured hands. Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour before use.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Roll the pastry out 3mm (in) thick and use to line four small metal flan tins. Fill with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind (see main feature) for 11 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 6-9 minutes, until lightly golde n.

WHIP up the egg yolks, pepper and single cream. Share the other ingredients between the four flan cases, then pour the mixture into the cases. sprinkle with mixed herbs and bung the pies in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

For the flan pastry

75g (6oz) butter

225g (8oz) plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium egg, beaten

For the filling for four pies

1 Arbroach smokie, flaked with the homes taken out

3 egg yolks

150ml single cream

1 tbs chopped mixed herbs pepper
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 12, 1998
Words:420
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