You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘tart’ tag.

I never thought I’d ever say this, but just between you and me, I’m all fooded out.  It’s not just the indulgences of Christmas, but of my birthday, friends’ birthdays, my grandmother’s birthday. It seems like half the people I know were born around Christmas, and the last couple of weeks have been a non-stop party in my mouth. It’s been a good time–a fabulous time. But really. Sometimes too much is too much.

And it’s not over yet. With New Year’s around the corner, a break from the kitchen is still a way off. I know what some of you are thinking. What!? A break from the kitchen! You don’t need a break from the kitchen. Ever. You adore cooking and do it every chance you get. You cannot survive without creating something ravishing in the kitchen on a daily basis. Sorry to say, but I am not of your ilk.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cooking–except when I don’t. I’m not sure why this is. Sometimes I think it’s my terminal aloneness that is to blame. It gets too easy to eat Cheerios for dinner when no one is waiting for you at home (remember Jerry Seinfeld’s cereal boxes?). Sometimes a part of me agrees with my friend G., who once proclaimed, “Cooking for yourself is lame.”

The great thing about food blogging, though, is that every meal is a photo op, an idea for a post. Although only a small fraction of what I cook and eat makes it into this space, I’ve learned to be creative when putting together quick meals and in this puff pastry has been my greatest ally.

I haven’t worked my way up to making puff pastry myself yet, but I often have a roll of the store-bought stuff in the freezer. It’s perfect for whipping up little appetizers or free-form tarts like this one. The leeks, fresh cheese, and dash of herbs give it a touch of elegance. Serve it at a party and your guests will never believe how easy it is to make. I often eat this tart with a salad for a weekend lunch, but it could be cut into bite-sized squares for your next soiree.

Happy New Year!

Quick Leek & Fresh Cheese Tarts

Ingredients:

Makes 4 tarts

2 sheets puff pastry

1 egg

3 large leeks, sliced, white parts only

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons water

herbs de Provence

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 package Boursin cheese *

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400F.  Cook leeks in butter and water, covered, until the leeks are soft and have abosrbed the liquid, about 20 minutes.

2) Roll out puff pastry. Cut each piece in half. Make borders for the tarts by cutting thin slices of the pastry from the sides of the squares and placing them on top. Brush with egg.

3) Spread pastry squares with leeks. Crumble cheese over top. Sprinkle with herbs and a bit of salt and pepper if necessary.

4) Bake until pastry is golden brown on the edges and cheese is melted, about 20-25 minutes.

* Boursin is a fresh herb cheese with a soft and crumbly texture that is available at most grocery stores and cheese shops. It may be substituted with goat cheese; a herbed cheese tastes best with this tart.

strawcake1

I did something incredibly stupid on the weekend. It was Saturday and I was trying to shoot a photo to go with an article I had written for a local magazine. Although I have a beautiful bay window, the light in my place is not always conducive to taking food pictures. I decided to take my things outside to the courtyard of my building. My mind was on gathering everything that I needed as I headed out. The second I shut the door I realized I’d left my keys inside.  I had locked myself out.  In my slippers.

I knocked on the doors of three neighbors, hoping one of them would lend me their phone so I could call a locksmith. Of course, no one was home. With trepidation, I finally knocked on Carol’s door. I hadn’t seen her since Easter, when I had taken her some of my tiramisu.

I felt bad about bothering Carol. Her husband died suddenly at Christmastime, leaving her with two small children to take care of. Carol is from the Philippines.  She’s a homemaker and doesn’t drive. A couple of weeks earlier she had fallen at the supermarket and broken her leg. Feeling foolish, I explained what had happened. Carol sympathized with my plight. She let me use her phone and offered me tea. We chatted until the locksmith came.

I wanted to thank Carol for her kindness so I made this Strawberry Mascarpone Tart from the April 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine. I had been wanting to make this tart since I’d seen it on the cover but hadn’t been presented with the opportunity. Piled high with fresh strawberries drizzled with port glaze, this easy tart was truly impressive. Tomorrow I will go get my tart pan from Carol and see how she liked it.

I don’t know about you, but this economic downturn and financial instability have left me with a persistent sense of unease. But now when I feel sorry for myself, I think of Carol.

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze

Adapted from Gourmet, April 2009

Serves 8

strawplate

Ingredients:

for tart shell:

1 1/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large egg yolk

for filling:

1 1/2 lb strawberries, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

1/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup ruby Port

1 lb mascarpone cheese (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1) To make tart shell blend together flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl with a pastry blender, or in a food processor, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

2) Beat together yolk, vanilla, lemon juice, and water with a fork. Drizzle over the flour mixture and blend until the ingredients come together. Knead gently with floured hands on a floured surface until dough forms.

3) Press into a 5-inch disk and place in the center of a tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Using your fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup, press out dough to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Prick bottom of tart shell several times with a fork and freeze for about fifteen minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 375F. Line tart shell with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for about 20 minutes, until set and lightly golden in color. Remove foil and continue to bake until the shell is deeply golden all over, about another 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 45 minutes.

5) While the tart shell cools, make the filling. Stir together strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let stand for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain over a sieve set over a small saucepan, reserving berries. Add Port to liquid in saucepan and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly.

6) Whisk together mascarpone, sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until stiff. Spread mixture evenly in cooled tart shell, then top with strawberries. Drizzle Port glaze all over tart.

stcakebright

Cooks Notes:

*Be sure to add the strawberries to the pie just before serving, otherwise the tart will end up looking messy if it sits around.

*Make sure the liquid is strained adequately from the strawberries. Too much liquid on top of the tart will make it look soupy and messy.

*For a lighter version, use half mascarpone, half ricotta cheese.

*The tart shell can be baked a day ahead and kept at room temperature.

CookEatShare Featured Author

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers

Tweet Tweet

  • Našla sem vso tvojo korespondenco, ne znam pa naprej ne nazaj. D 3 years ago

QUOTE

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet." -Julia Child

Flickr Photos

Rigatoni Baked in Vodka Sauce with Garlic Crumb Topping

Caprese Bread Salad

Prawn and Smoked Salmon Crostini with Boursin Cheese, Capers, and Chives

Prawn and Smoked Salmon Crostini

Bouillabaisse with Garlic Rouille

Cinnamon and Sugar Crab Apples

Marinated Eggplant with Pomegranate

pomegranates

Pasta with Tomato Pesto, Black Olives and Pine Nuts

Mexico Inspired Quinoa

More Photos
March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Foodbuzz
BlogHer.com Logo
Photos and text copyright 2009 by Darina Kopcok
Proud member of FoodBlogs
All recipes are on Petitchef

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers