I’m mildly obsessed with this super simple tart dough recipe I found on chef/author David Lebovitz’ blog. Brown butter tart dough, French tart dough; whatever your name for it, it is flaky and delicate and delicious. I’ve used it for sweet (strawberries layered over a fabulous pistachio cream I picked up in Italy):
The crust is made by melting butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt in the oven until the butter is bubbling and brown. Then carefully mix in some flour. That’s it! I prebaked the crust as in Mr. Lebovitz’ instructions for the strawberry tart, and when cool, spread my pistachio cream across the bottom and arranged strawberries over it. I then brushed the top with a tart glaze (melted jam with a little water) to finish. I left the crust unbaked for the quiche which is really just as easy as the crust and tart. Spread some pesto, dollop some goat cheese, pour some eggs, and voila! Recipes for tart dough and quiche after the jump.
French Tart Dough
90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour
Preheat the oven to 410º F
1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.
5. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.
6. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.
I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.
8. Let the shell cool before filling.
Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche
4 tablespoons pesto
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spread pesto evenly in the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle goat cheese over pesto.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, half-and-half cream, and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over goat cheese in pie crust. Arrange sun-dried tomatoes on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until done.