Top 8 savoury tarts tested

SAVOURY tarts are a good treat for the busy householder and, with a decent filling, are more nourishing than pizza.

With a blender, pastry can be made in a few minutes and as Karen Austin, the Queen of Pastry said in her Lettercollum Cookbook, chilling the pastry and cooking it before adding fillings is the key to success. 

You can chill the pastry while making the filling, so no time will be wasted, or make it and press into the tin and chill for a few days. Better not to add fillings until going into the oven.

The possibilities of fillings are endless, with seasonal vegetables such as Karen Austin’s sweet potato, spinach and Comté cheese, or beetroot and goats cheese. 

I also love her combination of onions, tinned tomato and olives with slices of goats’ cheese on top. 

Some of the classics, such as Quiche Lorraine, can be satisfying, so it’s easy to satisfy many taste preferences.

If watching weight, share the samples we tasted, having a slice with plenty of seasonal vegetables — the vegetables in the tarts are in such small proportions that they cannot be counted as any of our five a day.

Our tasters were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the samples, and tasted them cold and hot. 

Main rule: Don’t microwave pastry. 

150C/300F/gas 2 oven is perfect. 

Ten minutes may be enough to crisp it up.

Cinnamon Cottage Ham and tomato tart 930g €12.95

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

Cream, milk, eggs, onion, cheese, herbs fill this superb tart, full of flavour and substance in good, crisp pastry. This tart could feed 6, so the price is reasonable. Terrific for parties and gifts. Tops with all tasters, hot and cold. In Rochestown, Cork shop.

Score: 9

SuperValu Ham, spinach, brie quiche 250g €3

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

This single portion size 12cm deep quiche is more like a substantial pie, it is so solid and packed with plenty of flavour. It could easily be shared and served with salad. Pastry is a little heavy, but tasters liked it.

Score: 6.75

Heaven’s Cakes cherry tomato, sundried tomato and cheese tart 230g €3.80

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

This 12cm tart is full of fresh flavours with the two types of tomatoes working well together. Good, crisp pastry heated well in the oven and tasters loved it. Tasty cold too.

Score: 8

On the Pig’s Back Tomato, courgette, cheese slice 160g €4.50

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

A good combination of good quality ingredients, tasters would have liked just a little more flavour in this substantial slice.

Score: 6.75

Tesco Bacon & Leek quiche 400g €1.19

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

The pastry didn’t crisp up as well as the other samples and the ‘reformed’ bacon lacked flavour. The leeks helped with the creamy texture.

Score: 5.5

Marks & Spencer smoked salmon & broccoli quiche 400g €3.90

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

From a wide range of quiches, we liked this for a change with a blend of smoked salmon which could have done with a little more flavour, but the broccoli florets added interest in the creamy filling in good shortcrust pastry which crisped up well when heated.

Score: 7

Lidl Duc de Coeur Flammkueche 335g €2.49

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

This potato, raclette cheese and bacon tart was light and crisp with plenty of flavour of all the main ingredients. Enough for two with vegetables on the side, tasters were happy. Made in France.

Score: 7

Aldi Specially Selected Vintage cheddar & caramelised red onion quiche 420g €2.49

Top 8 savoury tarts tested

Suitably sweet and luscious red onion is the main flavour here with a decent amount of cheese too. The shortcrust pastry, which also has cheese in it, had a slightly soggy bottom, but the edges were nicely crisp. Tasters were happy with this one.

Score: 7.5


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