Wednesday, May 8
One of the delicious dishes we were treated to at our latest book club was an asparagus and spring onion tart, as made my dear friend Barbara.
LOVED THIS TART. The “shortcrust” was delicious, the top had a pleasant chewiness thanks to a melted Parmesan cheese, and all the flavors blended really nicely together. Of course we all begged for the recipe. Barbara had found the recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, which she happily shared. She’s not one to keep secrets when it comes to good food!
You all may be wondering (as I am) what the difference between a quiche and a tart is. If anyone has a good answer, please feel free to share! Tarts may be savory or sweet, while quiche are savory, but beyond that their “official” definitions are almost identical. So, I say just call it whatever you want!Asparagus and Spring Onion TartSavory and delicious!Author: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main DishIngredients
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I just use salted butter)
- 2 large eggs, divided
- ½ pound trimmed asparagus spears
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups spring or green onions
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) grated fresh parmesan cheese (I might use a bit more myself)
- Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Jane note: I use my pastry blender.) Beat 1 egg and 2 Tbs water in a small bowl. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until dough comes together, adding 1 Tbs. more water if needed. Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 12-inch circle on floured surface. Press dough into 9-inch springform pan or fluted tart pan with removable bottom. (Jane note: Barbara baked and served her tart in a pretty fluted dish without a removable bottom. It worked very well.) Trim edges, prick bottom all over with a fork. Line tart shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake 25 minutes or until barely golden. Remove beans and paper. Beat remaining egg and brush on bottom of crust. Bake 5 minutes more.
- Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Drain and cut into 1¼-inch lengths. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Remove from heat. Whisk together eggs and milk in bowl. Stir in onions and asparagus.
- Pour filling into shortcrust and place pan on a baking sheet. (Jane note: line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.) Sprinkle tart with parmesan cheese. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until tart is set in the middle and top is browned well. Cover edges of crust with foil if they start to brown too much before the tart is done. Pop out of pan and serve.
Tuesday, June 15
Remember this Spanish-inspired nut tart?
I am finally sharing the recipe with you! This Spanish nut tart is pretty gourmet…which means I didn’t actually make this recipe…I just ate it. 😉 But it was delicious, so I have to share it with you just the same. I had the pleasure of enjoying this nut tart about a month ago when my friend Faye, the pastry chef, made these tarts for her son’s elementary school class (lucky class, eh?). This tart is based on a Spanish (specifically Catalan) treat. Faye was nice enough to sit down and write the recipe out for us, which is quite the task actually. Everyone tell Faye “Thanks!” next time you see her. 😉Faye's Catalan Nut TartAuthor: From Faye Stein, Pastry Chef and Friend Extraordinaire to Jane Maynard 😉Recipe type: DessertIngredients
- The dough (pâte sucrée):
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed ( 1 stick? )
- 1 yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons cream
- The filling:
- ⅓ cup pear juice (or juice to your taste)
- ¼ brown sugar
- 4 oz dates (could do any combo, such as; apples/dates, apricots/figs, cherries/figs, etc.)
- The topping:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 6 oz total of dry roasted nuts of your choice (Faye used 2 oz pistachios, 2 oz cashews, 2 oz almonds)
- 1½ tablespoons cream
- For the dough (pâte sucrée): Mix the egg yolk, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons cream and place in the fridge so that it's cold and ready to go. Cube 3 tablespoons of butter and refrigerate also.
- In a food processor, pulse the 1¼ cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, pinch of salt. Add 3 tablespoons chilled butter and pulse to crumble. Add the refrigerated egg yolk mixture and pulse until you have a cohesive dough, like a cookie dough. Smoosh into a disk in plastic wrap, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- For the filling: In a saucepan, allow ⅓ cup pear juice (or other juice) and ¼ cup brown sugar to dissolve. Add the 4 ounces of dates (or other fruits). Bring to a boil over high heat then cook for 1 minute. Process the mixture in the food processor to form a thick paste then let it cool.
- For the topping: Preheat the oven to 400º F. Roll out your chilled dough, fill your tart shell, and blind bake for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be fully baked. To blind bake, place a piece of parchment in the tart and fill it with beans. This will keep it from bubbling up. Remove the parchment and beans at the end and put it back in the oven for a few minutes. Now it's ready to fill.
- Cook first 6 tablespoons butter, 6 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons corn syrup in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Boil vigorously 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add nuts and 1½ tablespoons cream.
- Spread fruit filling in crust; smooth the top. Set tart on a cookie sheet. Spoon nut topping over the fruit filling. Bake until filling bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer tart to rack and cool 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, loosen tart pan sides but do not remove. Cool tart completely in pan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Remove pan sides. Cut tart into wedges.
Lucky me…a few friends are getting together on Thursday and Faye is bringing goodies. What deliciousness will I be ‘subjected’ to, I wonder?
Wednesday, January 31Chocolate Ganache TartFrom Martha StewartAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: DessertIngredients
- 3 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1¾ cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest, (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make dough: In a food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground. Add sugar, flour, zest (if desired), and salt; pulse until combined. Add butter, pulsing until coarse crumbs form with no large butter lumps (dough should clump together when squeezed with fingers).
- Immediately transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a measuring cup, evenly press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.
- Bake in center of oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Make ganache: Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream, through a sieve, over chocolate. Stir until smooth and creamy in texture. Mix in vanilla.
- Pour chocolate mixture into center of cooled tart shell (if chocolate is lumpy, pass through a sieve). Let stand until set, about 2 hours, or chill for 1 hour.