Having come to caraway late in life, we’re now making up for lost time by seeking out recipes that really show off this lovely spice. In his book, Spice: A Cook’s Companion Mark describes Caraway’s flavour as “a cross between cumin and thyme, with a nudge of orange peel, mint and aniseed” and we could not resist his Bacon and Caraway Tart recipe. Caraway seeds are used in both the pastry and the tart filling, alongside mustard and fresh parsley, but it’s in the pastry that the spice really shines. This is a delicious tart, served hot, warm or cold.
Caraway is an ingredient we’d scarcely used until we made Middle Eastern Courgettes Baked in a Cheese Sauce from Ghillie Başan’s The Lebanese Cookbook. The caraway was such a revelation in Basan’s dish (which we enjoy regularly) that we’ve been looking for more recipes to enjoy it’s flavour. This quiche certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Read our indepth review of Mark Diacono’s Spice: A Cook’s Companion and you may also like our review of Mark’s previous title, Herb: A Cook’s Companion.
Bacon and Caraway Tart
For the pastry
- 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for rolling
- pinch of salt
- 150 g 5oz butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
For the filling
- 30 g (1 oz) butter
- 200 g (7 oz) smoked streaky bacon, cut into large lardons
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) double (heavy) cream (or use crème fraîche)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- generous pinch of caraway seeds
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and caraway and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Bring the dough together with your hands and shape into a flat round. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a circle about 24cm (9in) in diameter. Place over a 20cm (8in) tart tin and use your fingers to carefully press the pastry over the tin, pushing it up the sides and into the corners.
Line the base with baking parchment and some baking beans or rice. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon until lightly golden and its fat has rendered. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate, keeping the fat in the pan. Add the onion and bay leaves and cook for 10 –15 minutes until very soft. Remove from the heat and add the bacon back to the pan.
In a bowl, mix the cream, eggs and mustard together with a little salt and pepper.
Bake the lined tart case for 10 minutes until firm but not coloured, then remove the baking beans and parchment and return to the oven for 12 –15 minutes until cooked through and golden.
Distribute the bacon and onion mixture over the tart base and sprinkle over the parsley. Carefully pour the egg and cream mix into the tart case, giving it a gentle shake to distribute evenly. Add the tomatoes to the top of the tart. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper and the caraway seeds.
Put the tart in the hot oven on a middle shelf and bake for 30 –35 minutes until the tart filling is set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 or so minutes before turning out and cutting into wedges, removing the bay leaves as you serve.
A simple quiche of bacon, tomatoes and herbs becomes something rather special with the addition of caraway to both the pastry and the filling.
Made the recipe? Leave a comment below to let us know how you got on!
You may also like to see more recipes by Mark Diacono.
You can also browse all our recies featuring pastry.
Kavey Eats received a review copy of Spice: A Cook’s Companion from publishers Quadrille. Book photography by Mark Diacono. Home cooked photos by Kavita Favelle.