Spinach madeleine tart with cheesy pastry

Try this tart as a veggie course at Christmas or other celebration. With cheesy pastry and a cheese and spinach filling, it's sure to be a crowdpleaser

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 460
  • fat 30g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 30g
  • sugars 16g
  • fibre 10g
  • protein 13g
  • salt 0.5g


  • 320g sheet ready-rolled shortcrust
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, plus 2 tbsp
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 500g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 50g butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
  • 125g mascarpone
  • grating of nutmeg
  • 150g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs


  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Unravel the pastry on a lightly floured work surface, and sprinkle the 2 tbsp of hard cheese over one half of the pastry along with ½ tsp cayenne and a crack of black pepper. Fold the other half of the pastry over to close it like a book, and roll out, squashing the cheese in the middle, until it fits into a 22cm tart tin with an overhang. Prick the base with a fork, cover with a sheet of parchment and fill with baking beans. Cook for 15 mins, then remove the parchment and beans. Bake for 10-15 mins until lightly golden, then leave to cool in the tin.

  2. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Spoon small piles of the remaining hard cheese (about 16) in a thin layer onto the sheet, then bake for 5-7 mins until bubbling and melted. As soon as they look lacy, remove from the oven or they will burn quite quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Will keep in an airtight container for two days.

  3. Put the spinach in a sieve over a clean bowl, and squeeze well with the back of a spoon. Keep the liquid. 

  4. Heat the butter in a heavy-based pan and fry the shallots with a pinch of salt for 10 mins. Stir in the garlic, thyme and 2 tbsp flour, then pour in 250ml of the spinach water, boiling for 1-2 mins. Stir in the mascarpone, nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 mins.

  5. Fold through the cheddar and spinach, tip into a bowl and leave to cool for 5-10 mins. Stir in the eggs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tart case, then pour in the filling. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden. Leave to cool a little before topping with thyme and the cheesy crisps.

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