Last week Greg bought me my very first tart pan (with removable bottom). It's shiny and wonderful and was purchased first and foremost so that I could try Ina's Goat Cheese Tart from Barefoot in Paris. I absolutely love goat cheese, and relished the idea of eating an entire meal dedicated to it. This recipe isn't difficult, but there are quite a few steps, and so my tart was assembled over a two day period.
Thursday night I was determined to make the tart, so I made the dough for the crust. The dough has to chill in the fridge for a half hour, which convinced me that the tart would be even more delicious Friday night. Half a tuna sandwich for dinner Thursday. Friday, a little more rejuvenated and looking forward to the weekend, I retrieved the dough from the fridge, and proceeded. The crust needs to be rolled, pressed, baked, forked, re-baked, etc., but it's a soothing sort of recipe: a lot of steps without a lot of thought. Just right for the end of the week when my brain is operating on diminished capacity. Next, I got to put Betty to work. Betty chopped the shallots and basil, she crumbled the goat cheese, and mixed the cream and eggs in. Betty's great. We love her.
The final steps are to sprinkle the crust with the sauteed shallots, pour in the cheese mixture and bake one last time. The tart was beautiful and quite tasty. It's a bit one-dimensional as far as the flavor goes. I saw online that Ina also has a tomato goat cheese tart that I'm curious about now. Bits of cooked prosciutto or bacon mixed in might be a nice addition.
We had the tart with a side salad of escarole and peas. My first time cooking with escarole--it's so curly! For dessert we had a few sweet heart "cookies" I made with the left over tart dough. Really they were just a good excuse to play with sprinkles.
Goat Cheese Tart, an Ina Garten Recipe from Barefoot in Paris
1 1/2 C flour, plus more for dusting
13 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
3 to 4 Tbsp ice water
3/4 C chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
10 1/2 oz. garlic-and-herb goat cheese
1 C heavy cream
1/4 C chopped basil
1/8 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make the crust, put flour and 1/4 tsp salt into a food processor; use a blade, not a dough hook. Cut 12 Tbsp of butter into large dice, add to the bowl, and pulse until butter is size of peas. Add ice water all at once and process until dough is crumbly. Don't over process. Dump dough onto floured board, gather into a loose ball, cover with plastic, stick in fridge for 30 min. (Or for me, 24 hours.)
Roll dough out to fit a 9-inch tart pan. Press dough in lightly, but try not to stretch it. Remove excess dough. Butter tin foil and place buttered side down into dough. Fill with a weight, like rice or beans; bake for 20 min. Remove beans and foil, stab crust all over with a fork; bake for 10 more minutes.
Heat last Tbsp of butter in a pan and saute shallots until they are soft (about 5 minutes). Place goat cheese in a food processor and process until crumbly. (Mine just got sort of whipped--so I don't know if I processed too much or not enough...) Add cream, eggs, bail, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper and process until blended.
Sprinkle shallots in bottom of tart shell. Pour cheese mixture in shell until full. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until tart is firm when jiggled and top is lightly brown. Cool for 10 min; serve hot or at room temperature. (As for leftovers, it's not so good cold or microwaved. I suggest letting it sit and warm up or maybe employing a toaster oven.) Voila!