Saturday, September 8, 2012

First of Fall "Heirloom" Tomato & Corn Tart

Since the mother figure is still in Brooklyn, we've been experimenting with all sorts of delicious recipes that she's been whipping together while I am busy tending to the demands of our ever-growing peanut Julian...

Mummy will be here for another 5 days, so I hope that you, the reader, will tolerate a few more recipe postings until she leaves, and then I'll try to get back to the world of design...

Last night's dinner was a scrumptious success, pulled from the pages of August's Elle Decor. It is pretty multi-stepped, but worth the effort when you come out the other side, and if you're like me, I'd never attempted to make a quiche before (which is essentially what this recipe is) and wasn't even sure I'd eaten a quiche before, so this was twice the adventure.

Heirloom Tomato & Corn Tart:
Serves 6 to 8
The Tart Shell
  • 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1⁄8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups dried beans or rice, for baking shell
    Combine flour, butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Add egg and pulse until the mixture resembles moist curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and knead once or twice to pull dough together. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (At this point, the dough can be kept refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to a month.)
    Center a rack in the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Cut a 10" dia. round of waxed or parchment paper. Place a fluted 9" tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet. Lightly dust a work surface and the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough out into a round that is approximately 10" dia. and 1⁄8" thick. Fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim excess dough even with the pan's rim and, with the tines of a fork, poke a few holes on the bottom. Line the shell with the paper round and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully remove the paper and beans, then bake the shell for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool in pan on a rack. (The shell can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 8 hours.)
    The Filling
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 11⁄2cups uncooked corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs: 3 whole eggs, plus yolk from 1 egg
  • 3⁄4 cup sliced scallions
  • Dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1⁄2 lb. heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 to 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in thin wedges  *If you use regular cherry tomatoes instead of heirloom, I will not judge you... Use what you've got available-- ideally the freshest tomatoes you can find-- so that the flavor is worth showcasing in a tart. 
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1⁄3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt 1 T of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the corn, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the corn mixture in a medium bowl. Add the cream to the saucepan, bring to a simmer, and then transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth and transfer to the bowl with the reserved corn. Whisk in whole eggs, egg yolk, 1⁄2 cup scallions, Tabasco, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart shell, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is set. *General consensus at the end of our tart preparation: It could have stood another 5 + minutes in the oven to make it slightly more firm and less scrambled-eggy. This is probably oven specific, so keep an eye toward the end of baking...
    Meanwhile, melt remaining butter, transfer to a medium bowl, and toss with the remaining scallions, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Once custard is set, remove tart from oven, and arrange tomato mixture on top. Return tart to the oven and continue baking for 15 more minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and bread crumbs are golden. Let tart rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
    **As per Daniel Boulud's recommendation (also found in August's Elle Decor), we served the tomato tart with a light salad of arugula and cucumber, tossed in a simple vinaigrette, and called the affair "Dinner!" Totally delicious!!
    Now I will bribe you with photos of Julian in exchange for a little more of your patience... : ) 

    Check back soon for our next culinary endeavor!

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