Friday, June 8, 2012

NO WORDS

It was a shitstormclusterfuck of an evening with flat tires and such. So let's just look at tarts. And drink wine. And listen to Jeff Buckley. And Giovanni Pergolesi. And be grateful that we get to wake up to a brand new day.
CREME FRAICHE RECIPE #4:

I don't know how many people these tarts serve. The apricot tart was pretty much just for me. But I've been sharing the asparagus tart. These tarts are fundamentally the same. 

APRICOT RICOTTA TART WITH CARAMEL BUTTER
If you like your tarts sweet, you should definitely crank up the sugar in the ricotta mixture.

ingredients:
shortcrust pastry dough (make a least 3 hours ahead of time and refrigerate)
3/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
1/8 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
6 apricots
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons caramel sauce (or brown sugar)
creme fraiche for topping

directions:
Roll out dough and press into an 8" round or rectangular pan. Or place free-form on a sheet pan. Place in freezer while you prepare the filling.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a standing mixer (or by hand), beat the ricotta, crème fraiche, olive oil, egg, flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside. Halve and pit apricots. Melt butter and caramel together.

Remove tart shell from the freezer. Pour in ricotta filling and spread evenly. Gently press apricot halves (cut side up) into the filling. Sprinkle sugar all over the apricots. Brush or spoon on butter/caramel mixture. Drip extra onto the cheese mixture.

Bake until crust is set and light brown (35-45 minutes). If the apricots don't have much color, you can place the tart under the broiler and brown (or char) things a bit. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

Serve topped with creme fraiche or vanilla bean ice cream.

ASPARAGUS RICOTTA TART

ingredients:
shortcrust pastry dough (make a least 3 hours ahead of time and refrigerate)
16 stalks asparagus, bottoms trimmed
3/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic confit (or grated raw garlic)
1 teaspoon crunch salt (Maldon, or grey, or fleur de del)
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
chopped salted anchovy (super optional, super tasty)
creme fraiche for topping
chopped parsley

directions:
Roll out dough and press into an 8" round or rectangular pan. Or place free-form on a sheet pan. Put in freezer while you prepare the filling.

If your asparagus is delicate, you don't need to peel it. If it's thick, you might want to peel the stalks from the base all the way up to right underneath where the tip starts.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a standing mixer (or by hand), beat the ricotta, crème fraiche, olive oil, egg, flour, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and garlic confit.

Remove tart shell from the freezer. Pour in ricotta filling and spread evenly. Place asparagus in any cool pattern that you like. I like to have every other stalk pointing the same way. But it really doesn't matter. Coat stalks with vinegar/oil/garlic mixture. Drip extra between the stalks onto the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan and salt. Add optional anchovy.

Bake until crust is set and light brown. If the top of the tart doesn't have much color, you can place it under the broiler and brown (or char) things a bit. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Cut this tart with an insanely sharp knife or poultry shears, otherwise you will have quite a mess on your hands. Serve topped with crème fraiche and chopped parsley.

16 comments:

  1. ah... those days just happen.
    can I keep you a company and drink wine and listen to giovanni pergolesi? :)

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  2. such a bummer that you live so far away!

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  3. I'll join you from Australia...my two year old son is sending me mental...though my jar of creme fraiche has cheered me up considerably...made the cress salad last night and then sent a piece of date, almond and orange cake swimming in it..can't wait to try these tarts...do you think it would work with pear as it's winter here and not an apricot in sight?

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  4. love to hear how creme fraiche has cheered you up. me too. it's like a jar of delight that brightens up everything.

    i love making a pear tart with a brown butter filling. but the ricotta texture might be a little unappetizing with the pears. too mealy or something. what else is available right now? you could do dried apricots. or figs. you could do with thinly sliced butternut squash. or with potatoes. now that could be good.

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  5. Figs, oh yes! And a potato tart...now that really will cheer me up!

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  6. I did the ricotta with blueberries - I added some lemon - it was delicious, even though I had to share :)
    I could eat the creme fraiche by itself, it's so good

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    1. i know. i've been eating a lot of creme fraiche by itself. i just swirled some into mixed berry ice cream. i'm going to go taste it now.

      blueberries. great idea! dash would love that.

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  7. I was just looking for something to do with all the apricots I picked up from the grocery store the other day! Something other than, say, letting them turn into shrivelled vegetative matter in the back of the crisper, which is usually what happens. Thanks for the idea.

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  8. Sorry for a rotten day. We've had those. {oh, flat tires! with kids in the backseat, crying and crying. ah!} But yes, Jeff Buckley and creme fraiche will help things.

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  9. The asparagus tart looks amazing. Love the addition of the crunch salt. Nice touch!

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  10. Looking at tarts and drinking wine is one of the best pick-me-ups there is. And that apricot-ricotta-caramel situation going on there looks absolutely lovely. Well done!

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  11. thank you! oh yes to tarts and wine. funny. i always call things situations too. like the the caramel chocolate hazelnut situation i'm about to make!

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  12. What an amazing duo - both these tarts are just perfect! They were made to be together :-). And your photos are simply gorgeous - you have a beautiful site!
    Now that I'm here, I would like to invite you to share your recipes on a new recipe sharing website, RecipeNewZ (with Z). When you submit a photo of your dish, it is published within minutes and links back to your blog. Hundreds of bloggers have already joined. Try it out: http://recipenewz.com

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  13. Good idea - i want to make an apricot tart for just me, too!
    -sarah @ two tarts

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  14. Ooo, I love what I see: creme fraiche, apricots, caramel BUTTER! You have a new fan for life. I look forward to catching up on your blog, dahhlink.

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