Saturday, November 17, 2007

Topless Tarts

15 sticks of butter were lined up on the counter waiting to be used. "You probably didn't expect to become participants in a food blog event when you signed up for this class, did you?" I asked my students. Some looked perplexed, some excited. I haven't followed the food blog events after Sammy was born, but when the Topless Tarts event was posted by Cook Sister, I couldn't resist.

It just so happened that I had 8 people coming to my house to learn to make tarts this Saturday. It was my first time teaching this class and I spent all of Sammy's naps this week preparing my plan of attack. How exactly do you put 8 people though the process of making the dough, rolling it out, and baking 2 savory and 2 sweet tarts all in the matter of 3 and a half hours was a mystery to me at first. But thanks to careful planning it all worked out. We have successfully baked a tomato onion gruyère tart, a spinach mushroom quiche, a pear tart tatin, and 3 apple galettes (they don't technically qualify for this event as they were wearing a bit of dough on their sides, but it was so minimal, most of their sexy apple filling was in full view ;).

As you can imagine, I am simply toast right now from all the baking and cleaning and need to get to bed before it's time to wake up and feed Sammy. But I can stay up just long enough to copy and paste the recipes from my handouts. Here they are:

Illustrated guide to pie and tart dough

Tomato Onion Gruyère Tart

Pear Tart Tatin
-- use the link above for the dough, not the outdated link in the recipe itself

Apple Galette

Basic Quiche Recipe

For a 10 inch pre-baked tart shell

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3/4 - 1 and 1/2 cups cooked vegetable of your choice (mushrooms, leeks, spinach, etc)
1/4 cup grated gruyere

Preheat the oven to 350F and set a rack in the upper third of the oven. Beet the eggs and cream in a mixing bowl just to combine (do not over-beat). Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and stir in the cooked vegetables. Set a pre-baked tart shell on a cookie sheet. Pour the egg mixture into it, sprinkle with cheese, and carefully transfer it to the upper third of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and browned, but still a little quiver remains in the center. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Here we are with out sweet creations. Unfortunately, by the time I remembered to take the pictures, the savory tarts were already in our tummies. So technically, they are part of this picture :)


Anonymous said...

I was in Helen's class. It was fun to do with delightful, delicious results. My favorite was the pear tart tartin, but it is hard to choose.


Anonymous said...

Mmmm, these look great!

I was in the knife skills class the previous weekend and had a blast (and a super grilled cheese sandwich to boot). I'm looking forward to signing up for the next meat class.


Helen said...

Hi Charles,

Remember all those onions you guys diced in class? Well, I kept cooking them and cooking them until they turned into an onion jam of sort and we used them in the tart class for the cherry tomato gruyere tart. Mmm :) My tart class was very grateful to you guys.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

Oh yummy.

I do that sometimes with onions too, but I typically mix it with hot sauce and use it as a spicy ketchup substitute :).

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I'm in the middle of food prep for the big day right now, actually :).


Anonymous said...

What a fun event, it sounds so scandalous! Your tart looks great!

Anonymous said...

That pear tart looks devine. Might have to leave the cognac out on this one - don't really want to buy a bottle just for 2T. Still I could always drink the rest I guess....that would be a shame.

Jeanne said...

Oh Helen, what fantastic timing!! I was deeply impressed when your e-mail said you'd made FOUR topless tarts, but now I know you were teaching a class I'm even more impressed! Hope you'll tell Sammy one day how you went topless four times over ;-) The pear tarte tatin sounds glorious - I made one with cardamom about a year ago and that was fantastic.

Cakespy said...

Woo! Topless! Tarts gone wild!

In all seriousness, this looks just delicious!

Erin said...

The pear tart tatin came out amazingly well. It was incredibly delicious. I used puff pastry instead of the pate brisee and it was great.

catherine said...

Keep up the good work!

Natalie said...

15 sticks?! OMG - OK where do I sign up?

Helen said...

Hi Natalie,

Not sure if you are in the Boston area, but I am teaching a lot of Pie and Tart classes this time of year :) Have one this saturday. Here is a link to my classes in case you do want to sign up.