French cooking, at least in my case, is messy. The above picture had about 3 recipes in the making. One of them was a fabulous tart- Goat Cheese. From a technical perspective-the tart part-the pastry shell took some time to prepare, but you are going to want to keep this pastry recipe for other fanciful fillings. Serve with a salad and it can easily feed a family of 4-6. Bon Appétit!
11/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
13 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
3-4 Tablespoons ice-cold water
3/4 cup chopped shallots
10 1/2 ounces garlic and herb soft goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1 cup heavy cream
3 extra large eggs
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, put the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. ( Note: I used plan pastry cutter and bowl) Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter into large dice, add to bowl, and pulse until butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, add the ice water all at once and process until the dough becomes crumbly. Don’t over process. Dump the dough out on a floured board, gather it loosely into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough on a well floured board and fit into a 9 inch tart pan (I used a larger one and worked very well) with removable sides, rolling the pin over the top to cut off the excess dough. Butter one side of a square of aluminum foil and fit it, butter side down, into the tart pan. Fill the foil with rice or beans. Bake or 20 minutes. Remove the beans and foil from the tart shell, prick the bottom all over with a fork and bake for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small pan and sauté the shallots over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tender. Place the goat cheese in bowl of the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the cream, eggs, basil, 1/4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper and process until well blended.
Scatter the shallots over the bottom the tart shell. Pour the goat cheese mixture over the shallots to fill the shell (if the shell has shrunk, there may be leftover filling). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tart is firm when shaken and the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve hot or at room temperature.