A traditional - and delicious - recipe from a book I discovered called Cape Winelands Cuisine compiled by Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche. Basically it's a savoury bread pudding rather than a tart but none the worse for that.
Hetta writes: Many versions of bacon tart appear in old cookbooks. All the recipes are basically a variatio on a salty 'bread pudding' made from egg custard, bread and breakfast bacon or ham. This recipe is a firm favourite and can easily be prepared in a large pie dish for a group of people or as individual portions
3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter
¼ cup (60 ml) dried breadcrumbs
Butter or oil for sautéing
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
300 g back or shoulder bacon, diced
6 slices bread
2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk or full-cream milk (buttermilk has a distinctive sour taste)
½ cup (125 ml) grated Cheddar cheese
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 spring onions, chopped, for garnishing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325 °F).
Grease an ovenproof dish with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the butter and dust with the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
Heat a little butter or oil in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 minutes until done.
Spread each slice of bread, on one side only, with the remaining butter. Lay the buttered bread in layers in the dish, buttered side up, sprinkling the sautéed onion and bacon mixture over each layer.
Mix the eggs, buttermilk or milk, cheese, allspice and cayenne pepper together. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour the mixture over the bread in the ovenproof dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and set. Sprinkle with spring onions if using.
Either turn out and service in slices, or serve directly from the dish.
What to drink: It's a South African dish so I'd suggest a South African wine - a Chenin or Chenin Blanc blend, I reckon. Or a dry to medium-dry cider
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