Friday, October 15, 2010

FRENCH FRIDAYS WITH DORIE: Gerard's Mustard Tart

 ALDI came through for me again by displaying a row of German mustards (that would be the one in the glass jar) two weeks before the recipe for Gerard's Mustard Tart came up. ALDI already has a variety of other mustards, including a Dijon that is actually very nice indeed. The German mustard is the "whole grain" kind that is known in France as "l'ancienne" or old-fashioned. It was good not only in the tart, but also on ham sandwiches we made for lunch later in the week.
 The crust for the tart is found in the back of Around My French Table. It was really incredibly easy to throw together in the food processor -- Dorie wanted it whirred around until it was crumbly and would stick together when pinched. She suggested rolling the crust out between two pieces of wax paper, parchment or plastic wrap, which I did. This dough did require a bounteous amount of time in the fridge and the freezer so that it would be nice and cold for the roll-out, so it's not a terribly quick thing to throw together. One of the things I like about the Dorie's cookbooks, though, is that she passes on a lot of hints for how to make things beforehand so that you can either put them to use within the next few days, or freeze them for later. I had an entire afternoon at my disposal to make this recipe so I wasn't crunched for time, but if I ever want to make this lovely, eggy tart crust again, I'll remember her helpful hints.
 The veggies had to steam beforehand with a sprig of rosemary. I was able to clip some off my nice little rosemary shrub out front, which was a delightful bonus for this recipe. The carrots and green onions, however, were grown by someone with a great deal more talent for nurturing plants that I have. Dorie's recipe actually called for leeks, but I loathe working with leeks: too expensive, too big, and apt to have sandy dirt in all their nooks and crannies. Plus I don't think they taste as nice as green onions.
 Dorie recommended using a tart pan, the kind of baking apparatus that has collapsible sides so that the baked crust can be lifted out in an impressive manner. But I don't have a tart pan and I didn't want to buy one, so I pressed my crust into a quiche plate and it looked very nice, I thought.
 Here's Gerard's Mustard Tart just before I put it in the oven, and I have to say that I was feeling some trepidation about this recipe. I mean, mustard? I like mustard, but I've never used it as the main flavoring in anything before -- it's always been a piquant addition to add flavor. But I'm willing to try (just about) anything.
The tart baked beautifully and it smelled delicious while it was in the oven. I let it cool down just a bit and then we sliced into it for a sample. And you know, it was actually very, very good. The mustard flavor was not overpowering at all; I suppose the custard mellowed it out a good bit. But the creamy filling with the savory mustard-y flavor combined with the rich, buttery crust was something unusual, something that I'd be very willing to serve again. It was simple, yet elegant. It made me think "chardonnay" although I think that "iced tea" wouldn't be a bad accompaniment. I can see making this for a ladies' luncheon kind of thing, a petite sliver as an appetizer, perhaps. I liked it better than the gougeres, even, so this recipe was a definite success.

2 comments:

Kayte said...

Oh, that is one very beautiful tart! You styled it so nicely, too, with that pretty quiche dish, etc. Thanks for the process photos...now I know where I am headed "if" I get to it. Intrigued by your description of the flavor, so just have to find time to get it done.

lexi @ pink and orange coffeeme said...

your tart looks LOVELY! I wish I had used scallions instead of the leeks.