November 19, 2013

Caramelized Garlic Goat Cheese Tart

This was a big hit with our Provence groups this 2013 season.  Go to the blog here for a better view.

I am giving you the recipe pretty much as it is in Yotam Ottolenghi's book "Plenty", but, of course, I have added some of my usual tips, hints, and observations.

 About the garlic:
  •  the caramelized garlic keeps at least 10 days or so when sealed in a small jar  (love my jars)
  •  or caramelized garlic can be done ahead and frozen, great to have on hand  
  •  caramelized garlic is just sweet and unctuous, don't be afraid of the amount
Cleaning the garlic used to be the most time consuming thing about this recipe until I saw this video........IT WORKS like a charm.  You must try it.  Wish I had had this trick 6 months ago.  Thank you Saveur magazine...and to Undercurrent Restaurant for posting on FaceBook.  This works with the typical head of garlic we have here in the States but not on the fresh spring garlic of Provence.

About bought puff pastry: 
  • Pepperidge Farm works. It  is less expensive than Dufour and double the amount.  Dufour is great but not necessary for this
  • In France , the Hyper U Bio feuilleté is perfect....Xavier has a stroke when I don't make my own. #justnotnecessaryforthis.
  • Works best when thawed slowly overnight in refrigerator
  • Pastry can be blind baked ahead, covered and refrigerated until filled
You will see my changes in parentheses.....More balsamic because I love the flavor....savory instead of thyme because I think thyme overwhelms and savory is a close, milder cousin.....I buy the 2-pack of Montrachet at Costco (for my French friends, I buy fresh goat cheese at Hyper U)......I find hard goat cheese at EarthFare but, if not, just use Comte (yes, I know that is cow milk).  In France, I use a goat tomme

This looks like alot of explanation.....once you have made it the first time, you will get the picture and find it soooooo easy....otherwise I would not have been making this every week for the past 6 months!

From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

13 OZ. PUFF PASTRY (375 g)
Roll pastry to line bottom and sides of a 28cm (9") tart pan with removeable bottom.  Cover with parchment, add pie weights or beans and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake blind for 20 minutes.  Remove beans and paper and bake another 5 or 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. 

3 MEDIUM HEADS OF GARLIC, separated and peeled
Place peeled cloves of garlic in a small saucepan and cover generously with water.  Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes.  Drain well. Dry the saucepan.  This step is not necessary if you are using fresh spring garlic.


1 TSP. BALSAMIC VINEGAR (I use 1 1/2 Tablespoons)

1 TSP. FRESH ROSEMARY, CHOPPED (I use 1 1/2 tsp)
1 TSP. FRESH THYME, CHOPPED (I use a 3/4 tsp. dried savory)
¼ TSP. SALT (I use 1/2 tsp gray salt)
Add olive oil to saucepan.  Add garlic and saute until nicely browned. Stir around to prevent burning.
Add water and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add sugar, herbs and salt. Continue simmering on medium heat for 10 minutes or so or until most of liquid has evaporated.  Garlic should be coated in a dark caramel syrup.  Set aside.

4 ¼ OZ. SOFT, CREAMY GOAT CHEESE (such as Montrachet)


ASSEMBLY: Crumble the soft goat cheese over the cooked pastry.  Top with grated hard goat cheese.   

Whisk together eggs, cream, and crème fraiche.   Season.  Pour over cheeses leaving room for the garlic.  Scatter garlic cloves over all.  Drizzle with any remaining syrup (there won't be much)

Bake in preheated 325 oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden.

Serves 8 as first course.

P.S.  Did you notice the squash blossom in the center of this tart.....Didn't really add any flavor but love the look....If you want to make Squash Blossom Beignets next summer, go here.

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