This past weekend the Gutsy Cook menu included this tart, a Carrot and Orange soup and Arugula Salad with Parmesan.
As you can see, I played lazy and only did the tart. But, after reading Raymond’s take on the soup, I think I may have to back track and cook up some carrots!
The whole menu was totally on the fence up until Sunday. I had spent Friday and Saturday baking up about 7 dozens of cookies for my first cookie exchange party (recipes and post coming) so, my kitchen and I were taking a break from eachother. But, on Sunday as I was whipping up my brunch menu, and felt something was lacking, so I took a look and decided to include this tart in the list of things to serve. I came together pretty quickly.
I was a bit nervous with the pasty portion of the recipe, if you all recall, the last time I tried to follow a pastry recipe from the Kitchen Bible; it did not turn out well.
But, this one came together pretty easily and it was buttery, flaky and perfect in every way.
The filling was pretty good as well. I, of course, tweaked it. I added leeks as well as onions and used Fontina cheese and Gruyere. Instead of half and half I used heavy cream to make my egg filling even creamier and on the pastry, I added some parmesan cheese and cracked pepper to give it a complimentary peppery taste to the sweetness of the leek/onion filling. The end results were well worth it.
The tart was a total hit with my brunch crowd. And the best part is that it’s a good recipe to simply get your creative juices flowing. I’m already thinking of alternate fillings like: spinach and bacon, zucchinis and tomatoes, artichoke and hearts of palm and the same goes for the cheeses: while Gruyere and Fontina is one of my favorites, you can use Gorgonzola, Pecorino, Swiss, cheddar and on and on… the possibilities are nonstop if you really put your kitchen thinking caps on.
Adapted from the Kitchen Bible
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 1 dash of salt
- ½ tsp of cracked pepper
- 9 tbsp cold butter, diced
- 4–5 tbsp iced water
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium leeks, washed, and chopped (only the white and top green part)
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ½ cup of shredded Fontina cheese
- ¾ cup half and half
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
While I did this the same day, you can prepare everything 1 day ahead, store and then simply put it together and bake the day you need to serve it.
- To make the dough, using your food processor (or by hand) stir the flours together with the salt, pepper and cheese. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in enough of the water (one tablespoon at a time) until the dough holds together. Shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8-in (3mm) round circle or rectangular and use to line a 14 × 5in (35 × 12cm) tart pan, or 9in (23cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick it lightly all over with a fork. Cover with aluminum foil that has been buttered on the dull side. Chill in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). If you covered the dough with aluminum foil, there is not need to fill it with weights to pre-cook it. If you did not do this trick, line the dough with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans (or remove the foil) and bake for 10 minutes more, until the crust is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and leeks and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes, until tender. Stir in the sugar and nutmeg and cook for about 3 minutes more, until golden. Transfer to a plate and cool.
- Mix the cheeses together. Stir a third into the cooled onion/leek mixture, then spread in the pastry shell. Sprinkle with another third of the cheese mixture. Whisk the half heavy cream, eggs, and mustard together and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the shell. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly set.
Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and serve warm or cooled.