Thursday, 23 June 2011

Carrot-Fennel Souffle Tart

Fennel, the feather like herby green that has been dormant the past few months in the border of my garden, has suddenly made its seasonal appearance.  The past few days, it has been waving its luxurious fronds at me vying for my attention and it certainly did attract my attention.  First I remembered when I bought it home, in a small pot, just a seedling.  Now look at it, its almost as big as me (almost).  Secondly, as I brushed my hand on the fronds to release its aniseedy-licorice fragrance, I begun to wonder how to incorporate it in my cooking. 

Many people tend to use the young fragrant leaves of the herb fennel to infuse fish and seafood. I like to include it in fresh salads and risotto's, but today it was a change. I had made my mind up to make a Carrot Souffle Tart and to this I would add a little of this anise seed flavoured herb.  You would think that the carrots would make this a heavy souffle and therefore fail to rise, but I assure you this Carrot-Fennel Souffle Tart is very light and full of flavour, from both the carrot and the fennel. 
Of course, like any souffle recipe, this one will also rise and sink as soon as it comes out of the oven.  So it is best to enjoy it immediately. 

I am submitting this recipe to Grow Your Own (GYO), now in its fourth year. It was started by Andrea Meyer of Andrea's Recipes who is also hosting this month. GYO is a food blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow ourselves and the dishes we create using our homegrown produce.
Carrot-Fennel Souffle Flan
Serves 4 – 6
For the shortcrust pastry
170g plain flour
A pinch of salt
85g cold butter
2 tablespoons cold water
Method for short crust pastry
Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons cold water to the mixture. Mix to a firm dough. It may be necessary to add more water. Chill, wrapped for at least 30 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 8- 9 inch round dish, then back blind.
For the Carrot-Fennel Souffle filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
180g carrots, grated
2 tablespoon plain flour
150ml milk
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
½ teaspoon fennel herb leaves, minced
Optional: ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, separated.
alt and pepper to taste
Method for the filling
Heat the oil and fry the onion until it is soft. Add the garlic and carrots, stirring them until they are really soft. Add the flour and milk, and stir until the mixture thickens. Add the grated cheese fennel herb, fennel seeds if using, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and beat in the egg yolks.
Leave to cool, then fold in the whites, stiffly beaten. Fill the pastry shell with the mixture.
Bake in the oven at gas mark 6 for 20 – 25 minutes until the filling is well risen.
Serve immediately.


  1. wow that looks and sounds heavenly:
    never thought of the carrot fennel combo:

  2. I've only recently come to appreciate fennel! It is delicious with carrot: I shred it into coleslaw sometimes and really enjoy it.

  3. Looks like a great tart MangoCheeks (or should I be calling you Shaheen).

    It seems as though it's all change for you. I've missed it, but CT tells me you've been made redundant and are moving back to Wales - wow! And you've changed your name too. Hope this works out for you and turns out to be a good move in the end.

  4. What a great combination of flavours :) I'd never have thought to put these things together and make a tart / souffle, so I'm rather impressed.

  5. Beautiful foodie pictures..looks QUITE delicious and fresh!!

  6. Oh yum! This looks so inviting Shaheen! And I love that you grew the fennel in your garden... so much healthier! I love the mild taste of cooked fennel! Great idea!

  7. I love that you base your entries off of what's fresh in your garden. How wonderful - and this carrot - fennel flan sounds unique and delish!

  8. Thank you Chocolategirl.
    Its was lovely and the combo worked well.

    I'll need to try fennelin coleslaw - sounds like i'll enjoy it too.

    Hello Choclette,
    Always lovely to hear from you.
    Yes, things have changed a lot for me and my husband since my father-in-law passed away in October. Sadly nothing has been going our way since. Hopefully a change of scenery will bring us a bit of good fortune. Thank you for your kind words.

  9. Thanks Kari.
    I was rather chuffed as I impressed myself too.

    Thanks Jess.
    The flavours were certainly fresh!

    Thanks Manu.
    As well as the herb, in the past I've grown the bulb in container pots. When I move home, I intend to grow some again.

    Thank you so much Jesse @ Happy Go Lucky Vegan.
    It used to be what was growing at my allotment plot, but as I no longer have that, its limited to what is in my garden. Then after that what is in season in the U.K. Now and again I do stray - avocado's just don't grow here!

  10. This looks so delicious. The flavor combination used and the recipe tells me it will taste awsm!

  11. That looks really good! I havent visited the blog in awhile. I am catching up today! I always love your recipes!

  12. So wonderful to hear from you Jenn.
    Its been a while for sure. I'll come on over later too, I'm just as guilty for having not visited your blog too.

  13. It sounds like a delicious combination of flavour and I am sure I would love the texture of this flan!
    BTW, your blog is a great discovery for me! I have just found it and as I am browsing the pages, I think I could bookmark all the recipes! :-)
    Wishing you a lovely day!

  14. Thank you Sweet Artichoke for your lovely comment. It is lovely to make your acquaintance.


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