Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

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goat cheese and beet tart
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Just the other day, we got a coupon in the mail for a free package of cheese at the new grocery store down the street. So, we went, figuring that no matter what, we’d at least get some cheese (we got mozzarella for pizza), and check out the prices of their produce and staples. Just inside the door, they had beets. For 99¢ a bunch. We got two, figuring that we’d be able to put together nearly four dishes for under $2 (two with the beet greens and two from the beetroots). But, we didn’t know what they’d be.

This is one of the dishes we came up with. It’s based loosely on the Goat Cheese Tartlets that we make from time to time, but with more panache. Well, we think it looks fancy, anyway.

Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

Yield: one 4x13 inch tart

Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbs (70 g) cold unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-6 Tbs milk or cream
  • For the filling
  • 3 medium beets
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Abbreviated Instructions

For the crust

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Cut butter into about 8 pieces and distribute over the flour mixture. Working quickly, use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Stir in eggs, then, adding a small amount of milk or cream at a time, stir until a dough is formed. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead a few times, shape into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

For the filling

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place beets on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, then rub in to coat the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap the foil tightly around the beets, and bake until tender, 45-60 minutes. Leave oven on to bake the tart.

Let beets stand until cool enough to handle, the rub off the skins. Slice beets 1/8 inch thick and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, eggs, milk or cream, salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, and nutmeg, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

For assembly

Butter a 4x13 inch tart pan with removable bottom.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out crust into a rectangle about 6x16 inches. Transfer to tart pan and press into the sides, trimming off the excess. Freeze for 15-30 minutes.

Fill crust with goat cheese mixture, place sliced beets on top, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until tart is puffed and golden.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from tart pan to plate.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2017/01/beet-and-goat-cheese-tart/

Ingredient discussion:

Sure, we’ve had goat cheese that tastes, well, goat-y, but we’ve also had goat cheese that tastes tangy, clean, and bright. How do you find the latter? We can only suggest heading to a local farmers’ market, where you can try before buying. Unless you’re one of those lucky people who have a real cheesemonger in town, then head there.

Procedure in detail:

For the crust:

Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Really, you don’t have to whisk; we just gave the ingredients a good stirring with our fingers. That should be fine.

cutting in butter
We like to start cutting in the butter by simply cutting it into pieces.

Cut in butter. To work in the butter, we like to start by slicing the butter into about 8 pats and distributing them across the surface of the flour mixture. The butter pats are easier to break up, which means it’ll be easier and faster to cut in. Faster is the key, since you want to work fast enough so that the butter doesn’t begin to melt into the flour. It should remain cold, but get broken into small pieces. Start breaking and rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingers, and continue until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. You’re better off having larger pieces than soft pieces, so stop if the butter seems to be too soft (if it’s very soft, freeze or refrigerate).

adding eggs
The eggs will make this a crust that’s easy to roll and shape.
tart dough
The dough will look shaggy but not have excess flour when you’ve added enough liquid.

Add eggs and milk. Rapidly stir in the eggs until you have a shaggy-looking dough. Most likely, there will be some flour that will not be incorporated, so add a small amount of milk or cream, and stir it in. If the dough comes together, perfect. If not, add a small amount of milk or cream and try again. Once you have a dough, turn it out on a clean work surface, knead just a few times before shaping into a disc and wrapping in plastic.

resting tart dough
Refrigerating gives time for the gluten to relax, the butter to chill, and the flour to become fully hydrated. All of which makes for a better, flakier crust.

Chill. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight.

For the filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roast beets. Scrub the beets well and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and rub with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and wrap the foil tightly around the beets. Bake 40 to 60 minutes, or until the beets are tender and easily pierced with a sharp knife. Leave oven on to bake tart.

Peel and slice. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, use your fingers to rub off the skins, leaving nice, smooth beetroots behind. Slice the beetroots into rounds 1/8 inch thick and set aside.

making goat cheese filling
Nothing difficult about this filling; you simply stir together the ingredients.

Make filling. In a medium bowl, stir together goat cheese, eggs, milk or cream, salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Use the back of the spoon to break up the goat cheese and continue mixing until your filling is smooth and creamy. Set aside.

For assembly:

Butter tart pan. Lightly butter a 4×13-inch rectangular pan with removable bottom. If you don’t have a rectangular pan, a 9-inch round tart pan, or even a pie plate, will work.

dough in a tart pan
Any pan will work, but a fluted tart pan makes for a better- looking presentation.

Roll and fit crust. Roll the crust into a rectangle about 6×16 inches and place in pan, pressing it into the fluted sides and trimming away the excess.

Freeze. Place the tart crust in the freezer for 15-15 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax and helps prevent large flaky bubbles from forming.

layering tart
Some of the beets will sink in the filling partway, giving some of the filling a light pink coloration.

Fill. After the crust is frozen, pour in the goat cheese mixture, top with sliced beets, sprinkle with walnuts, and a bit more kosher salt.

Bake. Slide into the center of the oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling has set and puffed slightly, and the crust has turned golden brown.

resting tart
Let the tart rest and cool for a few minutes before trying to remove it from the tart pan.

Stand. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the tart pan and plating nicely.

We love beets and we haven’t really found a beet recipe that we don’t like, so we might be biased, but we thought this was delicious; the tangy goat cheese contrasts nicely with the smooth texture of the beets, and who can resist a light buttery crust? This is a five-star recipe, although we think that a drizzle of Balsamic Reduction would be really good on top. We wish we’d some on hand to try it.

Worth the trouble?

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