Smoked bacon and mushroom tart

The happiest marriage of bacon, eggs and ‘shrooms since the full English

There are, let’s face it, very few ways in which the classic English breakfast can be improved upon. Indeed, you might argue there aren’t any—and you’d be right, in our eyes, were it not for the honourable exception of Maria’s bacon and egg bap, and Mrs King’s smoked bacon and mushroom tart. The former has been dished out for decades at Maria’s Market Café, together with a hot, strong cuppa; the latter is a recent addition to the Market, courtesy of Hambleton Bakery and Mrs King’s Pork Pies.

Mrs King’s is a Borough Market stalwart and more or less the home of Melton Mowbray pork pies, having been hand-making them to an award-winning family recipe since the 19th century. Hambleton Bakery is, as the name suggests, an artisanal bakery based in nearby Exton, Rutland. Their coming together in tart form is as much a meeting of produce as minds. “The smoked bacon is local, just as the pork is for the pork pies,” says Zoe. The midlands area in which the bakery and pie shop are based is rich in the wide, flat fields pigs like to root around in. The pastry is made with flour from local wheat, and the eggs are local too—not to mention joyfully free range.

Scrambled to silky perfection
The result is the happiest marriage of bacon, eggs and ‘shrooms this side of the full English. The eggs are scrambled to silky perfection, the bacon is crisp, the mushrooms are meaty, and the whole jamboree is ensconced in shortcrust pastry so buttery it’d make a buttercup sing.

Warmed up (in the oven, Zoe insists, not in the microwave) it’s the perfect balm for a cold day—but it’s great as it is, be it for lunch, elevenses or breakfast: proof, if proof were needed, that anything can be bettered by the addition of pastry.