Salmon And Watercress Spelt Tart

Salmon and watercress spelt tart is a great combination of flavours: strong flavoured fish with an iron-flavoured vegetable. There are few combinations which are more deserving than this one. It makes a great showpiece for the table. Eat at any time of the year.  

Spelt flour makes a much shorter pastry base than other types of flour. If however spelt is not available, use all-purpose flour.

Serves 4-6; Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour


Preparing the pastry:

  • 200g/7oz spelt flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g/3½ oz. unsalted flour, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 tablespoon cold water

For the filling:

  • 130g/5oz salmon fillet
  • 200ml/ 7 fl. oz. créme fraiche
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 lemon juice and zest
  • 80g/3 oz. watercress
  • a handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. Sift the flour and salt in a bowl, add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Use a spatula or round-bladed knife to stir in the egg with between 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water or enough to produce a soft but not overly sticky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with any extra flour. Knead very lightly until smooth.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200ºC/fan 180 ºC/gas mark 6.
  6. Place the salmon fillet in an ovenproof dish and top with lemon zest and juice.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to produce a 35cm (14in.) circle, 3mm thick.
  9. Line a flan dish with the pastry and using a rolling pin to a carefully lift this pastry into place. Pastry made with spelt is very short, so there will be cracks but just patch it up.
  10. Press the pastry into the sides of the tin, trim off any excess and lightly prick the base with a fork.
  11. Line the tin with baking parchment and baking beans, place on a baking tray and bake blind for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180ºC/fan 170ºC/Gas mark 4.
  13. In a jug, beat the créme fraiche and eggs together until smooth, then add the watercress, dill, and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
  14. Scatter the flaked salmon into the pastry case, then pour over the egg mixture and smooth the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden.
  15. Serve with a green salad.
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