Pie-A-Day #11

This recipe comes to us from Yotam Ottolenghi, writer of the weekly column The New Vegetarian for the Guardian weekend Saturday Magazine and together with Sami Tamimi the author of “Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.”

Keep reading for the recipe…

Serves 8

Ingredients

13 oz puff pastry

3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup water

¾ tbsp sugar

1 tsp chopped rosemary

1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finishsalt

4½ oz soft, creamy goat cheese (such as chèvre)

4½ oz hard, mature goat cheese (such as goat gouda)

2 eggs

6½ tbsp heavy cream

6½ tbsp crème fraîche

black pepper

Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed, 11-inch fluted tart pan. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the pan, plus a little extra. Line the pan with the pastry. Place a large circle of waxed paper on the bottom 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 in the oven and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper, then bake for 5 to 10 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 the garlic cloves on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and ¼ teaspoon 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, break both types of goat cheese into pieces and scatter in the tart shell. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese. In a jug whisk together the eggs, cream, crème fraîche, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.

Reduce the 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 the oven and leave to cool a little. Then take out of pan, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad.

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