Who doesn’t like the savoury tarts? They came make an awesome meal along with salad or can be part of an appetizer menu or buffet. They can be made ahead and warmed or eaten cold. They’re easy and do not require too much fuss.
The few things you need are basically:
– A dough (store-bought or best homemade), it can be shortcrust, puff pastry, brioche, brik or phyllo sheets or even sandwich bread (like here).
– A sort of “appareil”, usually made of cream cheese, eggs, starch. After that you add your favourite seasoning, vegetables/seafood/meat/chicken.. (preferably sautéed).
|Cheese and leek tart|
|Shrinp and spinach and comte cheese tart|
|Salmon, shrimp and chives tart/quiche|
The thing with this sort of food, once you know the basics, you just adjust to your liking, which is what I do. I go to the kitchen with no pre-defined recipe and I start working my way through.
|Cheesy Mediterranean Tart (with black olive tapenade, thyme, feta, sundried tomatoes, Emmental, soft cheese…)|
I have previously posted some savoury tarts and quiches (here and here). Today’s 1st post is about the generalities of what is needed for a plain cheese tart or a quiche for that matter (the cheese tart requires more cheese than a quiche).
In order not to make this post longer than it is..I’ll post the recipe of each tart in a separate post. Stay tuned 🙂.
|Cheese tart with mushrooms and caramelized onions|
So I decided to write down the main recipe ingredients for most of the cheese tarts I make, then I’ll write down the ones i’m posting today.
Main ingredients for the tarte au fromage
For a 25 cm diameter tart or 14 minis
Prep: 15 min – Baking: 30 to 40 min (depending on the size)
For the shortcrust dough (get creative with the flavour)
- 250 g all purpose flour
- 125 g butter in cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 to 3 tbsp of cold water or milk
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Optional but nice: 1 tsp of crushed dried herbs (your favourite), 1/2 tsp of mustard powder, chili powder…
For the cheese “appareil”
- 250g fresh cheese (with a thick yogurt consistency)
- 2 tbps of salted cream cheese (philadelphia, kirri)
- 1 heaped tbsp of starch (Maizena)
- 2 eggs and 1 yolk
- 3 tbsp of grated cheese (your favourite)
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- Optional but nice: A good pinch of nutmeg, chili powder, fresh herbs siuch as chives, parsley..
The dough (if you choose to go “homemade”)
Work the dough just like any shortcrust pastry : work dry ingredients with butter, with your fingers or a food processor. Add the lightly beaten egg yolk and mix. Add the milk and bring the dough together and make sure you do not overwork it.
Form a ball then flatten it, cover with a cling film and keep in the fridge for 30 min (or 10 min in the freezer).
Like I say all the time, this type of dough is freezer-friendly. So you can make it ahead and take it out 30 to 45 min before use.
The liquid “appareil”
Well this one is basically like making a cheesecake except that you don’t have to separate egg yolks from white (unless you feel like).
It’s good to bring to your attention that fresh cheeses changes from one country to another either in term of texture or in term of taste (saltiness).
I have used “fromage blanc” before or recently the German “Quark” for baking, they’re relatively “wet”, unlike a philadelphia cheese to which you have to add some liquid cream to help beating it..
I usually deal with that by adding more grated cheese and a few pinches or starch, filtering excess water and correcting the seasoning.
SO. first, lightly beat the eggs with the cheese, add in the other ingredients while beating. This step should be done when the tart cases are ready, the oven has been heated. You will just have to fill in the shells and bake. I tried to keep it on the side many times and I ended up having cracks when the tarts was baked..
Assemblage and baking
Preheat the over at 180 degrees C.
Roll the dough between 2 baking parchments to 2 mm thick. Cut circles to fit in the baking molds.
Lightly prick with a fork. Place in the freezer while you make the liquid “appareil”.
When the oven is hot enough, place the tarts at the third level from the bottom of the oven, to help the shell baking without damaging the cheese “appareil“.
Bake for 30 min or until it’s set and the shell looks golden.
Note: If you are baking 1 large tart/quiche, I advice you pre-bake the shell at least 10 to 15 min. Let cook and fill it in with the cheese “appareil” and bake again for 30 or until the liquid is set.
These tarts are best served at room temperature or slightly cold. They’re better eaten the same day.