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Shrimp and saffron tarts

  • 30 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • Makes 18
Shrimp and saffron tarts

A special afternoon treat that is perfect in summer served with a chilled glass of sherry or a dry white wine.


  • 1x quantity of rich cheese pastry
  • 1 small/medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 saffron threads
  • 2 large, juicy ripe tomatoes, well chopped
  • 200 grams shrimps
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • 1 cup grated tasty or aged Cheddar-style cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Roll the chilled pastry out on a lightly floured board to 3-mm thickness. Cut into rounds and use to line the base of 18 patty tins. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  3. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil in a frying pan over a gentle heat until the onion is very soft but not brown. Allow 10 minutes and stir regularly.
  4. Add the saffron and tomatoes and cook until the mixture is thick and paste-like.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the shrimps, olives, cheese and sherry. Season generously with ground black pepper. Cover and set aside to cool. If wished, you can make the filling in advance and refrigerate in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
  6. Divide the filling evenly among the tarts.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the filling has set. The pastry will brown a little, but the filling will just darken into a deep orange-red colour.

Cooks Tips

Variations: - Use well-chopped prawns or crab meat in place of the shrimps. - Use chopped stuffed green olives in place of black. - Try a Cheddar-style cheese such as Gruyere or Edam. - Add a scant handful of finely chopped fresh parsley. I have cooked these tarts both with pastry that was baked blind and pastry that wasn't. While you can make the effort to bake the pastry blind, if wished, the end result is not noticeably any better, so for simplicity's sake I omitted this step.

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