I was in cooking school, we made a lot of tarts, such as fruit tarts with fresh
berries, and savory tarts with asparagus and other vegetables. The presentation
of the tarts was also very important. We didn’t just put a pastry shell in and
fill it. There had to be some planning to make it look fabulous at a party or
One of the savory tarts that I have really enjoyed
is an asparagus tart made in a 14 x 4-inch tart pan.
This is a beautiful tart when removed from the
rectangular pan and put on a long platter, and served with a salad with
vinaigrette for a light supper.
(From Simple Tarts by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen)
For this tart, use your favorite pastry crust
large enough for a 10-inch pie shell
And place the crust to fit into a 14 x 4-inch tart pan, and partially
blind bake the crust. Set aside to cool.
For the filling:
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound thin asparagus tips, well washed
½ cup half and half
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons freshly chopped dill or chives
2 teaspoons Dijon
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the tart shell on a
baking sheet for easy handling.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the
butter. Add the asparagus tips and cook, tossing
gently until tender-crisp and brightly colored,
1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Arrange the asparagus spears crosswise and top to
tail in the tart shell.
Beat the half and half, eggs and egg yolk until
well blended. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, then stir in the dill or
chives and mustard. Pour into the tart shell. Bake until set and golden, about
25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve hot or warm.
When we made the fruit tarts at Le Cordon Bleu, we
never mixed the fruit, but instead put the fruit in sections.
(Memories From Home, Cooking With Family &
9-inch Cookie pie shell in frozen food section Or
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
½ cup good apricot preserves or jam
Thaw the dough and place the cookie dough in a
9-inch tart shell. Cut off any excess dough from the edges. Or make Pâte Brisée
from the recipe below. Put foil or parchment paper in the shell and then fill
the shell with rice or dried beans.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 375° preheated oven.
Remove the paper and bean or rice and prick the shell all over with a fork.
Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the shell has browned. Set aside to
Melt the raspberry jam in a small saucepan or the
microwave. Place the raspberry jam on
the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Fill the shell with fruit. Place the fruit
on top of the raspberry jam. Melt the apricot jam and brush it on the fruit.
Refrigerate any un-served tart.
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tablespoons ice water
Preheat oven to 425°. Place flour and butter in a
food processor. Process on the “on” and “off” for about 8 times. Combine the
salt, sugar, lemon juice, egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Turn on processor
and add the liquid down the processor tube. Process until dough forms a ball.
Chill the dough for 1 hour.
Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured
surface. Fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Place parchment paper or wax paper inside
the shell. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 8 minutes. Reduce the oven
temperature to 375°. Remove the parchment along with the filler. Place tart
shell back in the oven and bake until golden brown. Remove from the oven and
cool before using.
Visit Chef Linda at her website: www.cheflindaweiss.com
and her blog:
Linda’s first book, Memories
From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at Amazon.com
or at her website.