For the pastry:
200g plain flour
A pinch of salt
100g butter, diced
25g Parmesan, finely grated
3 tbsp cold water
1 egg white, for brushing
For the filling:
200g courgette, sliced thinly
Approx.150g freshly podded peas (from a generous bowlful of pods) or frozen peas, defrosted
1 clove garlic, crushed
A generous handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk (use the white for brushing the pastry)
150ml double cream
50g freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Begin with the pastry, which I usually do in a food processor for speed. Pulse the flour and salt with the butter until you have a crumb-like texture, then add the Parmesan and pulse to mix. Add two-thirds of the water and pulse again for a few seconds until it forms a ball, adding the remaining water only if it looks dry. With a little patience and cool hands it can be satisfying to make this by lightly rubbing the fat and flour together between finger and thumb. Whichever way you make it, the important thing is to let it rest, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you use it. This allows the gluten in the flour to relax back to its pre-kneaded shape, giving you two benefits – you are less likely to get shrinkage on cooking (important when you need a substantial shell to hold the filling) and, secondly, the pastry will have a softer, more crumbly texture. Overworked and unrested pastry can be tough and chewy.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23–25cm loose-based tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind, lined with baking paper and beans, for 15 minutes until golden and crisp on the edges. Remove the paper and beans and brush all over with the egg white (for additional crispness), then return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to dry out. Turn the oven down to 170°C/Gas 3.
While the pastry is cooking, prepare the filling. Melt the butter over a low heat and sweat the courgette and peas with the garlic for a few minutes until they are soft but still with a little bite.
Turn off the heat and stir through the mint. In a small bowl beat together the eggs and egg yolk with the cream and milk. Stir through the Parmesan and season with salt and black pepper.
Spread the filling over the cooked tart case and gently pour over the custard mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or so until the filling is set and the top golden.
Extracted from A Good Egg: A Year of Recipes from an Urban Hen-Keeper by Genevieve Taylor, published by Transworld.