I make this tart a lot. It like to serve it to guests with a Spicy Beet Salad with Horseradish and maybe some duck pate and radishes. I like to take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day. I also like to eat this tart with a cup tea for breakfast. Like all recipes from the wonderful Ottolenghi, I find that this tart responds well to improvisation and substitutions. I make the crust with gluten-free flours (if you do not need to eat gluten-free, just replace the rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch with all-purpose wheat flour). The original recipe uses butternut squash, but I have made it with yams, sweet potato, Kabocha pumpkin and Delicata Squash and all of them were excellent. The original recipe calls for goat cheese, but feta works just as well. The custard calls for heavy cream, but Mascarpone, sour cream or even ricotta cheese would work just as well. There are, however, a few key things that make this tart unique and amazing, and that I would not recommend altering. The poppy seeds in the crust are magic. How can such tiny seeds provide so much crunch and flavour? Don’t change the carrot chutney. Although it is an additional step, the sweet and zingy layer of carrot chutney is what makes this tart special. Lastly, don’t skip the chives. Without the chives this tart would be too sweet. If you cannot get chives the green parts of scallions snipped very thin might work.
GOAT CHEESE AND AUTUMN VEGETABLE TART WITH A GLUTEN-FREE POPPY SEED CRUST
adapted from Ottolenghi
Gluten-free Poppy Seed Crust
- butter and rice flour for the tin
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
- 2 heaping Tablespoons tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter cut into 8 chunks
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
- Mix the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, salt and poppy seeds in a large bowl.
- Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
- While stirring, add just enough milk to form a ball.
- Cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. You can start to prep the filling while the dough chills.
- Butter and flour a tart or pie tin. Between two 12 inch sheets of wax paper roll out the pastry until it is large enough to fill your tin. Remove the top sheet of wax paper and flip the rolled dough into the prepared tart tin. Carefully remove the top sheet of wax paper and use your fingers to repair any cracks in the crust. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes and continue working on the fillings.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the crust unfilled for 20 minutes. Finish making the fillings while the crust bakes.
- 3 cups peeled seeded and diced butternut squash (you can replace this with Kabocha pumpkin, Delicata squash (no need to peel Delicata), yams or sweet potatoes or some combination of any of these)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tb white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- half a bunch of chives, snipped
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 5 oz goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a roasting dish, toss the cubed butternut squash (or Delicata, yams or sweet potatoes) with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 15 minutes, or until they are just barely tender. You can do this in advance if you like. You can also make the carrot chutney while the squash roasts.
- On medium high heat, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cook them until they begin to pop (just a couple of minutes). Add the grated carrot and cook stirring for 10 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vinegar and orange juice and bring to boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture is just simmering and cook for another 20 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Once you have pre-baked the crust, roasted the squash and made the carrot chutney, combine the egg yolk, cream, Parmesan and snipped chives in a large bowl. Whip the mixture until it forms soft peaks and put it in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the carrot chutney into the bottom of the pre-baked crust. Sprinkle the roasted squash on top followed by crumbles of the goat cheese. Spoon the cream mixture over the filled tart and use a spatula to smooth it down and make sure that it gets in between the roasted squash pieces and all the way to the sides. It will seem like it is not enough cream mixture, but it will be! Bake the tarts for 30 minutes or until the center is set. Serve warm with Spicy Beet Salad with Horseradish, eat it cold for breakfast the next day or pack it for lunch and eat it at room temperature.
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