Our restaurant Waterman has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

Niall McKenna's take on sweet and savoury tarts

This week’s recipes are two quick lunchtime treats to enjoy and are fantastic for the weekend if you have a busy house with the family coming and going.

The first one is a take on a pancetta and cheese tart. I’ve used locally available variations – guanciale is a delicious Italian cured pork cheek while, for the cheese, I’ve used St Tola. You can buy these two ingredients from well established Belfast delicatessens Sawers and Arcadia or from the newly launched deli, Indie Fude on Ormeau Road. Mike’s Fancy Cheese will also stock the cheese.

The second tart uses the same base and is perfect if you have a sweet tooth, even better served warm with a little sweet brandy cream. Enjoy.


(Serves 6)


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

100g St Tola cheese, chopped

2 tbsp red onion marmalade

4 slices of guanciale

Black pepper

Butter spray


Preheat the oven to 200C and place your pastry onto a baking tray. I always use a silicon matt but you can also place it on to greaseproof paper.

Score the puff pastry 2cm from the border of the tray, the whole way round the sheet – this will help it rise when cooking in the oven. Spray the pastry with butter spray as this will ensure it turns golden.

Place the St Tola on top of the pastry side by side; add your slices of guanciale and spread the red onion marmalade over all, having heated it gently in a pan on the hob first. Season with pepper.

Pop into the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has turned golden brown.

Serve warm with a mixed leaf salad.


(Serves 6)

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

8 figs, trim and thinly sliced

75g honey to drizzle

Butter spray

For the brandy cream:

200ml whipped cream

2 tbsp icing sugar

4 tbsp brandy


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with a silicon matt or greaseproof paper.

Place the pastry on top of the baking tray and score the pastry 2cm from the border, the whole way round the pastry and spray with butter.

Take your figs, slice them thinly and lay out on to the pastry. Drizzle the honey over the figs (if using solidified honey, melt it by heating gently on the hob first).

Place in the oven for 20 minutes until lightly caramelized and golden.

For the brandy cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the brandy.

Remove the tart from the oven and serve warm with the brandy cream.

Back to News & Recipes