Thursday, February 19, 2015

Swiss Chard, Pear and Gruyère Tart

This lovely tart is from the cookbook Small Plates and Sweet Treats, by Aran Goyoaga, and I got the recipe from an interview she did for CTV. I seem to be making a lot of her recipes these days, but it wasn’t planned that way! I found the crust incredibly hard to work with, even using parchment paper to roll it out, and it shrank back a little too much for my liking once it was baked (this is probably due to the amount of fat it contained). That being said, it was very good, and once the tart was filled, you really couldn’t tell that the crust wasn’t perfect to begin with. You could substitute a regular wheat crust if you wanted. What I loved about this, though, is that it used coconut milk instead of the typical cream and it totally worked. I hadn’t used coconut milk in savory dishes (except curries) because I was afraid that the taste would be overwhelming, but here I couldn’t even tell it was an ingredient. This is another great tool in my arsenal for lactose-free dishes! And hey, any recipe that gets us to enjoy Swiss chard is a hit. I used a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom, but a 14”x5” dish works, too. You could serve this tart with a salad for a light meal, but I served it with a sweet potato crisp (in which I used coconut milk instead of the cream, and that was less of a leap for me because of that dish’s flavors).

For the pastry crust
½ cup (70 g.) superfine brown rice flour, plus more for dusting
1⁄3 cup (45 g.) quinoa flour
1⁄3 cup (35 g.) almond flour (I used almond meal)
2 Tbsp. potato starch (I used corn starch)
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (8 Tbsp. or 110 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
6 to 8 Tbsp. ice water

For the filling
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (175 g.) chopped Swiss chard (remove tough ribs but use the tender ones)
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. sweet rice flour or cornstarch
½ cup lactose-free whole milk
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ oz. parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 oz. lactose-free gruyère cheese, grated
1 medium Bartlett or Bosc pear, thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline

For the crust
Add the first seven ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to aerate. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse ten times, until the butter is cut into pea-size pieces. Add 6 Tbsp. ice water and pulse until the dough comes together (it will not form a ball). Check the dough to see if it holds together when pressed between your fingers. Add more water if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, knead it a couple of times, and press it together to form a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Press it down to flatten it and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line your work surface with parchment paper if you wish (I find this helps a lot when working with gluten-free tart/pie dough). Lightly dust your (preferably cold) work surface with superfine brown rice flour and roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. If the dough cracks while rolling, pinch it back together. Fill the tart mold with the dough and press it gently into the mold. Cut off excess dough. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.

Blind-bake the tart by covering it with a piece of parchment paper and topping the paper with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and paper and continue baking for another 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let it cool slightly while preparing the filling. (Leave the oven on.)

For the filling
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the Swiss chard, white wine, ½ tsp. of the salt, ¼ tsp. of the black pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until the chard is wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, sweet rice flour, milk, coconut milk, parmesan, 1 oz. of the gruyère, remaining ½ tsp. salt, and remaining ¼ tsp. black pepper.

Fill the tart crust with the Swiss chard and top with slices of pear. Lightly press the filling down and pour the custard over it. Top with the remaining 1 oz. gruyère.

Bake at 375 °F for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool slightly before cutting.

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