Coming off the fun of last week’s gougers I’m excited to try Gerard’s Mustard Tart. In her recipe she says it traditionally uses tomatoes, but I have yet to make a tomato tart that I like. It always seems to me like they’re missing something. So even though this is just a riff on the original, I was a little nervous about liking the end product. But being an intrepid FFwD participant, I’m going to give it a go. So once more into the breach.
I was reviewing the recipe and noticed the tart dough needs a 3 hour chill, and I needed to get going after all this tart isn’t going to cook itself. I put the dough ingredients into the world’s oldest and most banged up food processor, note the large chunks of cold butter.
I gave it a few whirls and then added an egg and a tiny bit of water. Dorie cautions against over-mixing like with any good pie-type dough, you don’t want to over work and get too much gluten established. We want tender flaky dough, people!
I usually like to leave rather large bits of butter in my crusts, and this is maybe a bit too fine for me, but it didn’t impact the taste or the flakiness. It doesn’t come together in the mixer, but I put it on some cling film and it held together nicely when squeezed. I made a little disk and put it in the fridge. After about a half hour I moved it to the freezer, being that I am the Queen of Impatience and I don’t want to wait 3 hours to get the party started.
So I don’t think my, let’s call it eagerness, really impacted the crust at all. It rolled out rather easily and I used her suggestion to roll it between 2 sheets of cling film. I gently eased it into the pan and blind baked it. I didn’t notice until after I’d baked it that she suggests doubling the sides to make it a little more formidable. While I didn’t have any trouble with a crumbling crust, I think next time I’ll double it, even just for looks.
While I was waiting for the crust to cool, I chopped the veg, leeks and carrots and steamed them up. I was pretty careful to gently squeeze as much moisture out of them without crushing the carrots, which were delightfully soft ( I hates me a crunchy veg).
Then I whisked up the filling, which is one thing that made it different from the other tomato tarts I’d made before. They just had cheese and mustard on a bare crust. This filling was luscious. It was made with crème fraiche and two types of mustard, a grainy hearty mustard and a Dijon. The combination was both tangy and creamy and added just the right amount of binding to the leeks and carrots.
In other veg tarts or quiches I’ve made you add the veggies to the crust and top it with filling. This is the opposite, you add the creamy filling and then top it with the veg, almost like a garnish. I’d initially tried to do some fancy arranging with the veg, some crazy basket weave design, but my carrots weren’t up to the task and began to fall apart. Seeing the writing on the wall, I let that go and did a “full on Dorie” with the spoke pattern.
It baked up easy too, no water baths, just pop it in the oven and when a knife comes out clean it’s done. Mine puffed a little and got nicely golden. Oh and it was delicious. I think it was the crème fraiche in lieu of heavy cream, which can be a little cloying to me, but regardless, it was very, very tasty and I would make this again in a heartbeat. Might even have to try tomatoes…
The recipe can be found in the book Around my French Table, by Dorie Greenspan.