Previously, I shared with you how to make the versatile base Pate Brisee and why I was inspired to start baking tarts. I also shared how to make an apple tart using that base. Today I will explore a more savory option: the vegetable tart.
Pre-Covid, I often served this dish at dinner parties. It was a popular choice for me, not just because it’s tasty, but because it can be made in advance. The dough can be frozen so it can be made a week or month in advance, and the filling can be made the day before. It can be baked the morning of and served at room temperature for dinner or if you wish it to be warm, just heat it in the oven or a toaster oven and it will be just as delicious as if it had been freshly made.
This is rather a time-consuming dish. However, guests will be pleased by your effort. You can make a mini size (2.5inch/6cm) and serve it as a hand-held antipasto, or make it a little larger (4inch/10cm) and serve it on a plate as an appetizer. It’s a versatile tart.
This pate brisee contains sugar, so to be exact, it is pâte brisée sucrée. It is most common to not use sugar when making savory tarts such as quiche, however when I tried both ways… the one with sugar was the winner. The amount of sugar is very small but the saltiness of the filling and the slight sweetness of the dough definitely has an impact.
Tips for lining a tart ring with dough
I like to use a tart ring (cercle à tarte), which is a ring with no bottom. You can use a regular tart or pie mold.
I’m using only half of the dough made with the original pate brisee recipe. It can make two 4inch/10cm tarts. Here are some tips for rolling out the dough.
Extend this to a circle of about 6inch/15cm and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Immediately after taking out the dough, the dough still cracks hard, so leave it a little softer, then lightly dust it, pick it up, and lay it on the tart ring placed on the baking sheet. Lightly dust your fingertips with flour and start lining the ring with the dough, but instead of pushing the dough from above, the dough is slid from the outside to the inside and gently folded. By lining it in close contact with the ring so as to eliminate the air gap at the corner (the part where the side and bottom of the tart meet), it prevents shrinking. The temperature of your hands will melt the butter, so you can proceed quickly, but if it takes time and the dough becomes too soft, return it to the refrigerator and cool it each time.
After lining it in the ring, roll the rolling pin from the inside to the outside to cut off the excess dough. Put it back in the fridge, let it chill for 30 minutes, dock (prick with a fork) the bottom and corners of the dough with a fork, and the dough is ready. Make two of these.
If you want to put it out as antipasto, you can make 4 pieces using a 2.5inch/6cm tart ring.
[Photos and styling by Hitomi Watanabe Deluca]