TRY this recipe from The National Trust Cookbook, with recipe photography by William Shaw, published by National Trust Books, priced £20. 

(Serves 8)

For the pastry:
225g plain flour
Pinch salt
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
115g butter, diced
50g cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1-2tbsp milk
For the filling:
200g potatoes, diced
1tbsp vegetable oil
140g onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
85g frozen spinach, defrosted
2tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Granny Smith or small Bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
125g pack goat’s cheese, diced
125ml double cream
100ml milk
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad or mixed vegetables, to serve


Butter a 23cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin.

To make the pastry case, add the flour, salt, herbs and butter to a bowl and rub in until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the cheese, then mix in the egg and enough milk to make a smooth, soft dough.

Lightly knead the pastry, then roll out on a lightly-floured surface until a little larger than the tart tin. Lift the pastry over a rolling pin and press into the tin. Trim the top of the pastry a little above the top of the tin, to allow for shrinkage, prick the base with a fork then chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Line the tart case with a circle of non-stick baking paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook for five more minutes, until the base is crisp and dry. Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the potatoes to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for four to five minutes (until just tender) and drain.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for five to 10 minutes, until softened and lightly-coloured.

Add the spinach to a sieve and press out the water with the back of a spoon. Stir into the onions then mix in the parsley, sage and balsamic vinegar. Fry gently until the mix starts to dry, then take off the heat.

Spoon half the spinach mix into the base of the tart case. Scatter potatoes, apple and remaining spinach mix into the tart, then top with the goat’s cheese.

Whisk the cream, milk, eggs and a little salt and pepper together in a jug then pour into the tart.

Bake at 180C/gas mark 4 for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is set.

Leave to stand for up to 10 minutes before removing from the tart tin and slicing. Serve with mixed vegetables or salad.