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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest Post: Vegetable Tarte Tartin

I have a treat in store for you... a guest post by the fabulous Jen Moreau! Jen is a dear friend, as well as the creator of Fox to the Opera, the wife of Dapper Ink, and a dedicated Indie Craft Parade volunteer. She is graciously sharing the recipe for the scrumptious root vegetable tart we enjoyed last weekend. Take it away, Jen!

I love this recipe for its unexpected mix of ingredients. The hearty flavors of root vegetables are complemented with a savory caramel glaze, a flaky crust, and just a touch of cheesy goodness. Not to mention, the presentation is gorgeous, leading everyone to believe that this rather simple side dish is a culinary work of art. The best part--it’s an entertaining-friendly dish. You can make it up hours ahead of your party and pop it in the oven shortly before guests arrive.

I think cooking is best accompanied by music. Since this dish is a creative variation on the traditional French preparation (and perfect for our French-inspired dinner party), you should pull out old jazz tunes or listen to Henry Mancini’s Charade score for inspiration when you try your hand at the Vegetable Tarte Tartin. 

Vegetable Tarte Tartin 
  • 3 or 4 red potatoes, cut into ½ inch-thick rounds
  • 4 or 5 small purple potatoes, cut into ½ inch-thick rounds
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch-thick rounds (slice rounds in half if too big)
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch-thick rounds
  • 1 small onion, cut into ¼ inch-thick rounds
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage or taragon, chopped
  • 6 ounces gouda, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 8.5-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the potatoes and the parsnips, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake until tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons water and the sugar in a skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until amber, about 7 minutes (Watch carefully. Once the caramel turns amber, it burns very quickly.) Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Quickly pour the caramel into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and spread with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the sage on top.

Arrange the roasted potatoes and parsnips in a single snug layer on top of the caramel and herbs. Scatter the onion and garlic over the roasted vegetables; sprinkle evenly with the gouda.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Pierce the pastry all over with a fork, then lay it on top of the gouda, folding the edges under to fit, if necessary. If making ahead of time, cover securely and refrigerate until baking. Before baking, use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the crust.

Bake 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until the dough is cooked through, 15 to 20 more minutes. If the crust turns golden brown before the baking time is through, cover the baking dish loosely with foil and continue to bake.

Let the tart cool 10 minutes in the baking dish. Then carefully invert it onto a cutting board. Replace any vegetables that stick to the dish, if necessary.

Cut the tart with a pizza roller, and prepare to be greeted with oohs and ahs at the table.

*adapted from a recipe in Food Network Magazine