While most mothers were out letting someone else do the cooking this Mother’s Day, I opted to stay in and cook for my two boys.
This lovely tart is simple and quick to make. The crust is slightly more delicate and crumbly than most dessert tart dough and compliments savory ingredients well.
First, start with your Pâte Brisée Dough:
- 2/3 cup butter, cubed and slightly softened
- 1 tsp fine salt
- pinch of superfine sugar
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 1 tsp cold milk
Heap the sifted flour on the counter and make a well in the center. Put the cubed butter, sugar, salt and egg in the center and begin to mix with your fingertips. It’s a mess, but it gets better.
When your dough is crumbly, add the milk and continue to blend with your fingertips. In a few moments you will have a dough you can palm. Work it a few times, roll it into a ball, then wrap loosely with cling-wrap and chill.
While your dough is chilling, prepare your pan. Butter your 14″ rectangular tart pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes. I usually butter a few tiny tart pans, too, because this recipe leaves a little extra dough.
Unlike some tart dough, you don’t need to chill this one for an hour. Just a few minutes will do. Lightly dust your countertop with flour. Unwrap your dough and use a pin to roll it out to about 1/8″ thick. Gently set it in the tart pan. A good trick for this is to gently roll the flattened dough back up onto your pin, then reverse to spread it over the tart pan.
Use a small ball of extra dough to press it into the sides. Refrigerate the dough in the pan for 20 minutes to let it set. Learn from me – if you skip this part, your crust will have a thick bottom and no sides. Disappointing, trust me.
Pierce the bottom of the tart dough with a fork and then blind bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. If you are clueless about “blind baking”, it means to line the raw dough with parchment paper and fill with uncooked rice or beans to weigh the tart down. If you don’t do this, the bottom puffs up and you have very little room left for your filling.
After 20 minutes, remove the rice or beans and lower the oven temperature to 340. Return the tart to the oven for 10 minutes.
The tart should be golden. It’s okay if it’s on the “not quite done” side since it will be going back in the oven.
This kind of tart can really be anything you like. You can use asparagus, mozzarella, salmon, various herbs… whatever taste suits your mood.
For this particular tart, I chose quartered and marinaded artichokes, sweet red peppers, red onion, feta, fresh flat-leaf parsley and cherry tomatoes.
I don’t measure the ingredients so I can’t give you specifics. Some people will use more onion and less artichoke – it varies with taste. Layer as you like until you run out of room, but don’t crowd the ingredients because you will be pouring in the egg mixture next.
- One whole egg
- Two egg yolks
- Pinch of nutmeg
- I also add about 1/2 cup of pesto sauce. It’s optional.
Let it set for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before you remove the tart from the pan. Enjoy!