Thursday, September 24, 2009

tale of two tarts

One savory, one sweet. I had some great summer heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market, and some pears that were really almost too ripe. What better thing to do than bake a tart! Made the tomato tart yesterday, and the pear tart tonight.

Summer Tomato Tart

1 pastry dough of choice (I used Martha's recipe, which follows; use whatever you want)
1 beefsteak (or heirloom) tomato, sliced into thin slices
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2
4 eggs
2 italian sausages, cooked and cut into thin rounds (0ptional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
3 oz of fresh mozzarella
1/2 c. asiago cheese, grated
Fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Roll out dough, put into tart pan and trim. Use fork to dock the dough.
  3. Chill dough for 1 hour in fridge, if desired.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes to partially bake, and remove from oven.
  5. In a bowl, beat eggs with heavy cream until uniform. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with cooked sausage. Set aside.
  6. In a small skillet, over low heat, warm up egg mixture.
  7. Add 1/4 c. of asiago to bottom of tart shell
  8. Next add egg mixture to tart shell. Layer on tomatoes, mozzarella, and remaining asiago.
  9. Bake for 25-30 more minutes on middle rack, on top of sheet pan. Bake until shell is golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven, let rest for 15-30 minutes.
  11. Garnish with parsley.

Pear and Cranberry Bourbon Tart

1 pastry dough
4 pears, peeled and sliced
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. apricot jam
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. bourbon (like Jack Daniels)
pinch of salt
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1 tbsp. butter

  1. Combine all ingredients except cranberries and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Allow to reduce to a syrup, when it starts getting really foamy, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in cranberries, cook for 1 minute, remove from heat.
  2. Remove from heat, and stir in butter until melted.
  3. Blind bake dough in tart pan for 25 minutes.
  4. Arrange pears in a nice even layer. Drizzle sauce over tart.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 more minutes (with tart pan on a sheet pan), until crust is golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve and cream would be good!

Pastry Dough

This one turned out very buttery, not too flaky, but not too crumby either. Good savory flavor. Only downside was that it shrank...a lot. This comes from Martha Stewart, but apparently it's a pretty classic pastry recipe. To be honest, I remember more success with the plum tart I made with Roland and Bev's plums, and I think I used Alton's recipe in this blog.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

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