What to do when you get given copious amounts of Russian and Polish Garlic, grown by some family friends? Make a caramelized garlic tart obviously. There are so many aspects of this tart that I love from its puffed pastry shell to its hits of goat’s cheese in the centre. Perfectly balanced with softened garlic and herbs this tart really does hit the spot. It was surprising too; I did not expect it to be this tasty. I can’t take all the credit … it’s Ottolenghi’s recipe from his cookbook, Plenty. A cookbook filled with deliciously creative vegetarian dishes.
* I made a correction below. I forgot to include to place the pan on a baking sheet before pouring the custard in. Whoa. Could of been a massive mess if your puffed pastry turns out anything like mine did.
Recipe slightly adapted from Plenty, Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.
13 oz. puffed pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4.5 oz (approx. 125 grams) soft, creamy goat’s cheese, such as chèvre
4.5 oz (approx. 125 grams) hard, mature goat’s cheese, such as gouda
6.5 tbsp heavy cream
6.5 tbsp crème fraîche (or sour cream)
Special equipment: a shallow, loose-bottomed, 11″ fluted tart pan.
Roll out puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the fluted tart pan, plus a little extra. Line the pan with the pastry. Place a large circle of waxed paper on the top of the pastry to and fill up with pie weights or dried beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the tart shell (with weights or beans) in the oven and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights/beans and paper, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes more, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.
While the tart shell is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well. Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry on high for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and 1/4 tsp of salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.
To assemble the tart, *place the tart on a baking sheet (to catch any leaks), break both types of cheese into pieces and scatter in the tart shell. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, crème fraîche (or sour cream), 1/2 tsp of salt, and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill up the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.
Reduce oven temperature to 325° F and place the tart inside. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool a little. Then take out of pan, trim the pastry edge if needed, and serve warm.
This recipe reheats very well.