Recipe of the week: Creamy seafood tarts from a Michelin-starred chef

Michel Roux, who presides over a Michelin three-starred restaurant in England, started shaping and turning out dough at the age of 14.

When Michel Roux was 14, he was apprenticed to a pastry chef in Paris. Starting at 4 a.m., six days a week, he turned out dough for croissants, brioches, puff pastries, and tarts. Today he presides over the Waterside Inn in Bray, England, a Michelin three-starred restaurant.

In his new cookbook, Pastry: Savory & Sweet (Wiley), Roux compiles recipes that use pastry for dishes ranging from quiche Lorraine to pecan pie to phyllo croustades. Roux suggests that the creamy seafood tarts in this recipe are best enjoyed when served “straight from the oven” with green beans.

Recipe of the week

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Lightly Curried Seafood Tarts

13 oz pâte brisée

24 fresh mussels, cleaned

5 tbsp dry white wine

1 shallot, minced

3 large scallops

6 langoustines, cleaned

1 tbsp curry powder

4 oz tender green seaweed (optional)

5 tbsp heavy cream

1 medium egg

1 medium egg yolk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Put mussels, wine, shallot in large pan; cover tightly; cook briskly 2 to 3 minutes until mussels open (discard any that stay closed). Take out of shells; place in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside. Pour cooking juices into small pan; heat to below simmering; gently poach scallops 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; add to mussels, leaving juices in pan.

Lightly cook langoustines in simmering water 2 minutes; drain. Pull heads from langoustines; chop; add to pan containing reserved cooking juices. Sprinkle in curry powder. Let bubble 3 to 4 minutes; strain through cheesecloth. You should have 4 to 5 tbsp. Set aside. Keep langoustine tails to one side.

Roll out dough to ½-inch thickness. Using 6-inch plate as guide, cut out 6 circles. Line 6 individual tart pans, 4 inches in diameter and ¾-inch deep, with dough circles. Chill 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick pastry shell bases. Bake 15 minutes. Leave shells in pans; set aside. Halve scallops horizontally; place one scallop disk in each tart shell. Shell langoustine tails; halve lengthwise; place 2 halves around scallop in each tart shell. Fill gaps with mussels. If using seaweed, arrange on top.

In bowl, mix cream, egg, egg yolk, reserved curry-flavored juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over seafood in tart shells; bake about 20 minutes until filling sets. Insert knife tip into center; if it comes out clean, tarts are done.

Pâte brisée

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

2⁄3 cup butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened

1 tsp fine salt

Pinch superfine sugar

1 medium egg

1 tbsp cold milk

Heap flour on counter; make a well. Put in butter, salt, sugar, egg. Use fingertips to cream ingredients together. Slowly draw in flour, working dough delicately until grainy. Add milk; incorporate gently with fingertips until dough begins to hold together. Using palm, work dough by pushing it away from you 4 or 5 times until smooth. Roll into ball; wrap in plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.

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