Fennel Tart with Orange and Olives
Fennel and orange are a great combination and this autumnal tart makes the most of both. While the tart may look a little fiddly, it’s actually a cinch to make, especially if you prepare the fennel ahead of time.
Cut and discard the stalks from the fennel, reserving the fronds. Using a mandolin, very thinly slice the bulbs lengthwise. Set aside half the orange zest, then put the remaining zest and orange juice in a wide saucepan, along with the lemon zest and juice, and the white wine. Add the fennel slices to the pan, cover with a lid, and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
Once cooked, carefully remove the fennel and put it onto a tray to cool, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Gently simmer the cooking liquid, uncovered, until it has reduced down to about ¼ cup. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the reserved orange zest with the mascarpone and gruyere. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven 220°C (200°C fan bake) and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
Roll the pastry out into a large rectangle and transfer it to a sheet of baking paper. Trim the edges if necessary and lightly score a 2cm border to form a crust. Thinly spread the mascarpone mix over the pastry, leaving the scored edge clear. Lay the fennel pieces evenly across the mascarpone, overlapping them slightly, then top with the orange slices and scatter over the olives.
Brush the pastry edge with the egg wash, then carefully slide the pastry and baking paper onto the hot oven tray.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden and the fennel lightly caramelised. If the top starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover it with a sheet of baking paper.
Cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle over the remaining orange sauce and scatter over the fennel fronds to serve.
2 fennel bulbs
3 oranges - grated zest and juice of 2, 1 peeled and sliced into ½ cm rounds
1 lemon, grated zest and juice
½ cup dry white wine
50g (½ cup finely grated) gruyere
1 pack Paneton puff pastry, defrosted
½ cup pitted olives, green or black
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water