Monday, 16 July 2012

Hoisin Tart

As much as the title of this post might sound like an insult, it's not. It's an Ellwood favourite for a quick, simple, tasty, and budget friendly dinner. Winner all round!

One of my favourite things about this dish is that it's good for using up leftovers. I quite often have a few stray spring onions left in the salad drawer from another recipe that didn't call for a whole bunch. As for the meat, you really can use up whatever you've got! We had some slow cooked beef to hand that was shredded up, but we have used chicken, turkey, pork and lamb before and all worked beautifully!

A word to the wise- make sure when preparing this you only let people help if they are actually going to be helpful! Mr E thought he was oh so cute with his "One bit of cheese for me and.... one bit of cheese for me". After getting his hand slapped he really wasn't much more help because he likes a looooot of cheese (see photo evidence below). Please do not feel the need to overload it as much as we have!

I mentioned in my last post that cherry butter can be used for a whole host of things, one of which is to make a variation of hoisin sauce which is a hybrid of that and Chinese plum sauce. I know I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it, but believe me, it's yummy. I served it with prawn crackers as a side for another dinner on Friday, and my wonderful big sister (she came to visit, yay! More on that later...) happily devoured the lot (with my help, of course).

Although it may not look like much, the combination of the pastry, cheese and meat makes this quite filling, so really we only ever need to serve it with a fresh green salad on the side.

Hoisin Tart

75g shredded leftover meat
150g mozzarella (if your other half is anything like mine... otherwise you could get away with a lot less!)
3 spring onions
1 ready rolled puff pastry sheet (at room temperature)
1 cup/ 235ml hoisin sauce/ Chinese cherry sauce
1 egg

For the Chinese cherry sauce: 
1 cup/ 235ml of cherry butter
1/2 tspn 5 spice (or more, to your taste)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tspn chilli powder
A splash of water

1) Preheat your oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas 6/ 400f, and place a flat baking tray in the oven to heat.

2) If you're giving it a go, then the Chinese sauce needs to be made first to allow it time to cool. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat it gently in a saucepan. The 'splash' of water will be determined by how thick your cherry butter is- you want the end product of this to be along the same lines as a standard ketchup. Give it a taste and tweak the spices to your taste- I got a bit "5 spice happy" with this one! Once the mixture is just coming to a simmer turn the heat off and leave it to cool.

3) Unroll your pastry sheet onto a flat surface. Make sure it has been out of the fridge for a while, as if you try to unroll a really cold sheet it may crack (bummer). Lightly score a line around the edge with a sharp knife, about 3cm from the edge. This not only gives you a boundary to work within when adding your toppings, but also helps create a nice raised edge when it puffs up in the oven.

4) Spoon on your sauce as liberally as you like- I think I used about two thirds of a cup (I was about to say "we like it saucy" then realised my mum reads this- sorry mum!). Remember to stay inside the lines! Make sure your sauce is cool, as any heat will cause the pastry to go a bit soggy, and no one likes soggy pastry (not least when you're trying to transfer it to the baking tray- all sorts of messy!). Keep at least one tablespoon aside.


5) Shred the mozzarella into bite sized chunks and scatter across the pastry- as I said, please don't feel the need to go as crazy as we did!

6) Mix the reserved tablespoon of sauce with the shredded meat, then spoon this evenly across the tart. The amount of sauce you need for this will depend on how dry your meat is- it's nice to inject a bit of moisture back in!

7) Finely snip the spring onions straight onto the tart. If you like the fresh bite of them raw then keep a small handful aside to scatter after the tart comes out of the oven.

8) Lightly beat the egg and brush around the edge of the tart (Um... we forgot to do this bit!)

9) Transfer to the heated tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the edge is golden and puffed and the cheese is melted.


Serves 4 as a decent lunch or light dinner.


  1. Oh My these does look good! Hoisin is my favorite asian flavor.

  2. I actually have a ton of hoisin sauce in my cabinet because I don't know what to use it in. Thanks for sharing and giving me some another way to use up my leftovers =)

    1. Ooh, I wish I had a ton of hoisin sauce in my cabinet! I hope you try this, and I really hope you love it as much as we do- we actually made two more variations of it last week (in a bid to use up leftovers!)... will no doubt share them soon too!