Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Sprained My Ankle and All I Got Was this Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

First lets talk about this crust.

This crust is different from your typical quiche vessel, because it is enriched with the addition of cornmeal and held together with sour cream and ice water. The dough is fairly easy to work with, but you should work quickly it softens fast—although that could also be the intense heat this time of year.

I never use pie weights so I skipped that step, but my crust did puff and warp a bit during baking though it did go back to it’s regular shape by the time it was done . When this crust comes out of the oven it smells like fresh cornbread and the thyme in the pastry adds a savory aroma that is irresistible and I couldn’t wait to make the filling so I could eat it.

For the tart itself, caramelized onions and crumbled goat cheese are loaded into the pie shell. All of this is topped with a pretty arrangement of oven roasted cherry or grape tomatoes. And then the egg custard is poured into the crust and baked. Simple , n’est-ce-pas?

But beware! The eggs and cream mixture makes a lot more custard than you need for this tart. So only pour in as much of the eggy mixture as you need. I blindly poured all of the custard in and it dribbled over the crust and ran into the sides of my pie plate. Definitely eyeball this part. If it looks full, it is full no matter how much custard you have left.

I also ended up needing to bake this longer than the instructions stated. The filling would just not set in the centre. I ended up baking the tart at least 10 minutes longer than the recipe stated. Because of my overbaking, the edges of the crust got a little dark (though miraculously I did not manage to burn it) So make sure you do a better job than I did of covering your crusts with tin foil. In retrospect I think the melty/liquidy goat cheese was partly to blame for this quiche’s refusal to set in the centre. (But I also need a scapegoat)

Another facet of the roasted tomato tart saga is that while this was baking, I stupidly decided to change a light bulb, slipped off a chair, and sprained my ankle. So I was checking for doneness all while cursing the baking gods and my swollen ankle.

Sprained ankle notwithstanding, this tart tastes amazing! It is rich and creamy because of the goat cheese. The roasted tomatoes are fragrant and their acidity balances out the sweetness of the onions and the richness of the filling. All of this in a tender crust that is scented with thyme and has the pleasant grittiness of cornbread. Since even my mishaps couldn’t destroy this tart, I conclude that it must be fool-proof. I would definitely try this recipe again, being wary of this experience, because it was definitely worth having to apply ice for the next few days.

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Makes one 9-inch quiche serves about 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • ¾ cup crumbled goat cheese(about 3 oz)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk1/4 cup 10% cream
  • pinch each salt and pepper

Roasted grape (or cherry) tomatoes

  • 1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or thyme (I used ½ teaspoon each dried)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cornmeal pastry

  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon each granulated sugar and salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ice water (approx)

    1. Cornmeal Pastry: In bowl mix together flour, cornmeal, thyme, sugar, and salt. Using pastry blender cut in butter until in large crumbs. In a glass measure, whisk sour cream with water; drizzle over flour mixture, tossing with fork until dough comes together and adding up to 3 tablespoons more water if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: refrigerate for up to 24 hours)
    2. On a lightly floured surface roll out pastry to scant ¼-inch thickness; fit into a 9-inch quiche dish or pie plate. Fold edge under, leaving1/4 inch above rim; flute or crimp edges with fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    3. Line pie shell with foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in bottom third of 400 degree F oven until rim is light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on rack. (I skipped the foil and pie weights. The crust shrank a little but otherwise didn’t warp too much.)
    4. Roasted grape tomatoes: In bowl, gently toss together tomatoes, oil, rosemary, and salt. Bake cut side up on parchment lined baking sheet in 350 degree F oven until tender, 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
    5. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry onions, stirring occasionally, until golden 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
    6. Sprinkle goat cheese over pastry shell; spread with onions. Top with tomatoes, cut side up. In bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper; pour over top. Bake in 375 degree f oven until knife inserted in centre comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool on rack for 10 minutes. (make ahead: Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat in 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes.)

Adapted From: Canadian Living Magazine December 2008

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