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T is for Tart

Two 9-inch tart shells2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour15 tablespoons cold unsalted butter1 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely choppedIce waterMakes one 9-inch tart1 par-baked 9-inch tart shell2 tablespoons olive oil½ cup onion, cut into half-moons2 cups white button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, cut into quarters12 ounces fresh spinach½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground2 eggs1 tablespoon Dijon mustard¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream1 cup parmesan cheese, gratedMakes one 9-inch tart1 par-baked 9-inch tart shell2 tablespoons olive oil3 fennel bulbs cut into thin slices1 leek, white part only, cut into thin slices1 onion, cut into thin half-moon slices1 teaspoon salt2 eggs¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream1 cup parmesan cheese, grated {pinterest_rich_pins_images} T is for Tart {/pinterest_rich_pins_images}

T is for Tart

  • 1/24
    Spinach-Mushroom Tart
  • 2/24
    Food processor, butter, flour, water, rosemary on top of a baking mat
  • 3/24
    Butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4/24
    Food processor with flour, butter, salt and rosemary
  • 5/24
    Pulse the mixture in 3-second intervals until it resembles coarse meal.
  • 6/24
    Using your fingers, see if the dough holds together easily.
  • 7/24
    Shape the dough into a ball.
  • 8/24
    Press the dough half down to form a 1 1/2-inch tall disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap.
  • 9/24
    Tart pan with removable bottom and a rolling pin.
  • 10/24
    Roll out the dough about 2 inches bigger than your tart pan.
  • 11/24
    Fit the dough into the pan and press it down to the bottom and the sides.
  • 12/24
    Pie weights (rice) and trimmed dough
  • 13/24
    Pie weights inside of the tart pan
  • 14/24
    Mushrooms and onions
  • 15/24
    Spinach
  • 16/24
    Sauted spinach and mushrooms
  • 17/24
    Eggs, mustard, half-and-half and parmesan cheese
  • 18/24
    Spinach and mushroom custard
  • 19/24
    Par-baked tart shell with spinach-mushroom custard filling
  • 20/24
    Spinach-Mushroom Tart
  • 21/24
    Fennel, leek and onion
  • 22/24
    Eggs, half-and-half and parmesan cheese
  • 23/24
    Fennel, leek and onion custard
  • 24/24
    Fennel-Leek-Onion Tart

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Dec 4, 2014

Print this recipe

Rosemary Tart Crust

If you really want to impress someone, bake them a tart. The golden, buttery crust and luscious custard filling are universally appreciated. Make it for a picnic, brunch or baby shower. It is good on its own or with salad greens dressed with lemon vinaigrette to balance the smooth, creamy taste of the filling. Made in two parts—crust and filling—the tart is slightly time-consuming; so plan ahead. But don’t be intimidated by the few extra steps it requires. It is pretty straightforward, and definitely worth it.

This recipe makes enough dough for two 9-inch tart pans. You will need some practical tools to execute it faster: a tart pan with fluted sides and removable bottom, food processor, rolling pin, parchment paper and pie weights, or substitutes such as rice or beans. A non-stick silicone baking mat is also helpful for rolling out the dough. Adding rosemary is optional but recommended; it elevates the taste and smells divine. 

O

  1. Two 9-inch tart shells
  2. 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  3. 15 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  6. Ice water

1

Cut butter into ¼-inch cubes and freeze for 5 minutes.

2

Put flour, butter, salt and rosemary into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse the mixture in 3-second intervals (don’t leave the processor running) until it resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter pieces.

3

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over the mixture and pulse several times. Repeat with 3 more tablespoons. Using your fingers, see if the dough holds together easily. If it’s still too crumbly, add another tablespoon or two of water, but don’t let it become wet.

4

In a bowl, use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Cut it in half, and press each half down to form a 1½-inch tall disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

5

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes or until it’s easy to roll out. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin, and roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness, about 2 inches bigger than your tart pan. Fit the dough into the pan and press it down to the bottom and the sides with your fingers. Trim any extra dough that comes over the edges of the pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.

6

Cut a 15-inch circle out of parchment paper. Place it inside the tart shell and weigh down with pie weights. This prevents the dough from swelling in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven and remove the weights. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork in several spots and return back to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Check several times for swells, and if any large bubbles form, prick them with a fork. You have now a par-baked shell ready for a filling.

Tip

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use two table knives to incorporate the butter into the flour. Cross the knives in the middle like scissors, and pull them away from each other. Keep moving the knives throughout the mixture until all the butter is cut into smaller, pea-size pieces.

Spinach-Mushroom Tart

O

  1. Makes one 9-inch tart
  2. 1 par-baked 9-inch tart shell
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. ½ cup onion, cut into half-moons
  5. 2 cups white button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, cut into quarters
  6. 12 ounces fresh spinach
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
  8. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  11. ¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  12. 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent—about 10 minutes.

2

Add the mushrooms, spinach, salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms reduce in size and the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

3

Whisk together the eggs, mustard, half-and-half or heavy cream, and parmesan cheese and add to the mushroom/spinach mixture. Mix together and scrape into the tart shell.

4

Bake at 375 degrees for 55–60 minutes, until the custard is set and firm to touch. Remove from the oven, set it on a wire rack and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Fennel-Leek-Onion Tart

O

  1. Makes one 9-inch tart
  2. 1 par-baked 9-inch tart shell
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 3 fennel bulbs cut into thin slices
  5. 1 leek, white part only, cut into thin slices
  6. 1 onion, cut into thin half-moon slices
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 eggs
  9. ¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  10. 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the fennel, leek and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

2

Whisk together the eggs, mustard, half-and-half or heavy cream, and parmesan cheese and add to the fennel/leek/onion mixture. Mix together and scrape into the tart shell.

3

Bake at 375 degrees for 55–60 minutes, until the custard is set and firm to touch. Remove from the oven, set it on a wire rack and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

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