Showing posts with label Tart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tart. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Key Lime Tarts

Key Lime Tarts

I got schoolgirl giddy when I passed by a sign at a local bakery that read, "KEY LIME SEASON IS HERE!" O.M.G. Key Lime Pie. WOOOT! If you've ever tasted key lime pie, and I mean real key lime pie (you know, with key limes) you know there's almost nothing that can beat that lip-puckering tart/sweet combo. Regular limes just don't cut it.

Sliced Key Limes

The thing about key limes is that they are annoyingly small. To get a good cup of juice you have to go through the agony of squeezing about 2 pounds worth of limes. Without the aid of a juicer or reamer, it can be a bit of a nightmare. Of course, I have neither. I found it helpful to slice the key limes in half and first press them in a bowl with the palm of my hand, to get most of the juice out, then tackle the last few squeezes with my fingertips.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tart Tuesday: Goat Cheese, Zucchini, and Roasted Red Pepper Tart

I am going to cheat a bit today... because for one, I am on a pretty big work deadline, and two, I'm still recovering from last weekend. 

Last Thursday, my friend from FSU, Vishan, who is now studying painting at West Dean in England, came down for a long weekend in Paris. We both have been on similar journeys this past year, and we've been keeping up with each others' progress of adapting to life in a new country. It was really comforting to finally have someone from back home who understands my issues with cold weather, and even though there's not really a language barrier between the US and England... I learned there were a lot of things in Vishan's case, that just don't translate.

Luckily for us, it was a beautiful weekend (with the exception of a slight drizzle), and we made sure to take full advantage. There are so many things I want to blog about, but I am actually going to start at the end and work backwards... You'll see why. 

So, should we start with Sunday morning then? Ugh, it was not a pretty sight. The night before, I let my FSU side run wild... and ended up face-in-a-plastic-bag in a cab on the way back to our apartment. Where did it all start? Well, Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to the market across the street from my apartment. I wanted to show Vishan what a real, local, French outdoor market looked like.

We strolled past each stand at least twice, all the while the vendors greeting us with a cheerful, "Bonjour monsieur-dame!" Artichokes and strawberries were making their seasonal debut, and I could literally feel Spring in the air. We walked past the rotisserie stand, where chickens and rabbits were ever so slowly turning on the spit... their delicious fat and juices melting into the vats of onions and potatoes below. I took a deep breath in, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I said to him, "This is why I love France."

It was already a gorgeous day, so what better than to do as the French so love to do, and picnic in the park? We bought an entire lapin roti (rotisserie rabbit), some bread, cheese, and grape leaves, and made our way to Montmartre. 

Sacre Coeur

We parked ourselves on a bench in front of the Sacre Coeur, and spread out our market goodies. 

A Beautiful Day in Montmartre

Market Cantal

The rotisserie rabbit was absolutely to die for... the skin as crackly and crispy as lechon, the fat - glistening and rich like duck fat (aka liquid gold), and the meat was as tender as a perfectly roasted chicken. A perfect trifecta. I don't know why anyone would be afraid to eat rabbit. I know, I know, it's like eating Thumper or Bugs Bunny, but seriously people, this was amazing. 

Cuisse de Lapin... So Delicious

We made quite a little spectacle of ourselves - going all Andrew Zimmern on the rabbit - eating the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart... all which were so graciously left inside the animal while it roasted. 

Ripping out the Heart

 Rabbit Heart

 A Hesitant Bite

Channeling Andrew Zimmern

Rabbit lung, by the way... not so tasty. It's not so much the flavor, but the texture that made Vishan make this face:

Rabbit Lung

Rabbit Lung - Not So Tasty

People were literally staring at us like we were freaks, especially since Vishan was pretty dressed up to be gnawing away at a rabbit carcass.

Gnawing on Rabbit Carcass

After we finished devouring our kill catch purchase, we walked around Montmartre, went back to the Musée Guimet (another blog post), and ultimately landed at one of my favorite pâtisseries, Gérard Mulot

Gérard Mulot Red Fruit Mousse with Pistachio Macaron Tops

Tasting Gérard Mulot's Pastries

Red Fruit Mousse with Pistachio Macaron Tops

They by far have some of the most gorgeous pastries I've ever seen... and they taste just as amazing.

Gérard Mulot Mousse au Chocolat

The BEST Mousse au Chocolat. EVER.

With no room inside to sit, we took the pastries back to the apartment to enjoy them in peace, while I whipped up this tasty little tart:

Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini and Roasted Red Pepper Tart

So see, I am cheating a bit... it's not a tartine, and I didn't exactly eat it today, but hey - it was yummy, and I wanted to share!

*P.S. - It all went downhill from there... lots of wine... lots and lots of wine.

Goat Cheese, Zucchini, and Roasted Red Pepper Tart

1 pâte feuilletée or puff pastry (I used a pre-made & pre-rolled dough to make it easier on myself)
200g fresh goat's cheese
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices.
1 small red bell pepper
1 egg
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Remove the core and seeds from the red bell pepper and cut in half length-wise.

Place the two halves of the red bell pepper on a baking sheet, skin-side up, under the broiler until the skin begins to char, about 10-15 minutes. 

Once the skin has turned black, take them out of the oven, place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap for about 10-15 minutes. 

Once cooled, peel the skin off of the peppers (do not rinse) and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Set aside.

*You can do up to this part a day or so in advance.

 Preheat oven to 400°Fahrenheit (200°Celsius).

On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over the zucchini and toss with your hands to coat. Re-arrange into a single layer and add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the baking sheet. 

Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, just to allow the garlic to begin to soften. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

*Do not turn off the oven.

Remove the garlic from the peel and chop into a fine mince.

In a bowl, mix the goat's cheese, Herbes de Provence, and roasted garlic until thoroughly combined. Salt and pepper to taste.

On a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, place the puff pastry in the center of the pan. Spread goat cheese mixture in a thin layer, leaving about an inch border around the edges.

Arrange the zucchini slices on top of the goat cheese mixture, and fold the edges of the puff pastry over top of the zucchini. Arrange the slices of roasted red pepper on top of the zucchini.

In a bowl, whisk one egg with a little bit of water, and brush it over the top of the puff pastry. This will give the pastry a nice brown color when it bakes. 

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serves 3-4.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tart Tuesday: Veulettes and a Tarte aux Mûres (Blackberry Tart)

This past weekend I got my first taste of the French countryside... both literally and figuratively. Our friend Jules (who also was kind enough to host my birthday party) and his family have a country house, or compound rather, in the coastal town of Veulettes sur Mer. It's located in the Normandy region on the coast of France, about 2 hours northwest of Paris. They share the compound with his whole family, aunts, uncles, and grandmother, each with their own home, a shared pool, trampoline, game house, etc.

Veulettes sur Mer

Coastline of Veulettes

Alabaster Cliffs

La Mer


One Year Younger than America!

Boingy Boingy...

Louis on the Trampoline!

We spent the weekend basking in the sun and eating our hearts out. We jumped like little kids on the big trampoline, and drank the night away. One of the best parts about this time of year is that it's blackberry season. If picking almost 3 kilos (almost 6 1/2 pounds) of blackberries with Quentin and his mother in the forest behind their apartment (just the day before, mind you) wasn't enough, Veulettes was loaded with unpicked bushes of the tart little morsels. We picked enough to make a tart (and a little extra)... you know, since we didn't already have tons of food... and went back to the house to look up some recipes. I came across one recipe which called for créme fraîche and since we just bought some of the most delicious créme fraîche from the supermarket that morning, I thought it would only make the tart that much better.

Blackberry Overload!

The tart was delicious. Blackberries taste so much better when you pick them yourself. It's probably due to all the hard work that goes into picking them... since they have super sharp thorns and tend grow alongside massive bushes of poison ivy (eek!). It's sooo worth it.


I didn't actually get a chance to take pictures of the tart we made in Veulettes... it was just so good, and  disappeared so quickly. So I went back into the forest when we got back to Bougival, and picked my way through the thorns and poison ivy to get enough blackberries to make one more tart. I added some lemon zest to this one, to brighten up the flavors even more.

So in honor of the blackberry, I'm substituting Tartine Tuesday with Tart Tuesday... it just seems fitting.

Tarte aux Mûres

Tarte aux Mûres (Blackberry Tart)

Pâte Brisée (Pastry Dough):
250g flour
125g room temperature butter
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt

Cut room temperature butter into small pieces. In a large bowl, add flour and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Add the pieces of softened butter to the flour. Using your fingertips, loosely incorporate butter into flour just until the butter/flour mixture becomes flaky. 

Add the egg yolk into the bowl. Begin gradually incorporating the flour into the egg yolk with your fingertips and add a little water if necessary. Mix until all the flour is incorporated into the dough, and you are able to form it into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Once dough has rested, roll out in a circle wide enough to fit an 11-inch tart pan.

600g blackberries
1/2 cup créme fraîche (if you don't have access to créme fraîche, I guess you could use sour cream... *sigh*... just make sure it's full fat, none of that low fat stuff!)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Wash blackberries in a colander and set aside. Line an 11-inch tart pan with pâte brisée (pastry dough) and arrange the blackberries on top. In one bowl, whisk the milk and créme fraîche together until there are no more lumps of créme fraîche. In another bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, and flour. Stir to combine. Add egg and mix into the flour/sugar mixture. Finally, add milk/créme fraîche mixture into the flour/sugar/egg mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the berries. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Serves 6.