Daily Archives: 8 October 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gerard’s Mustard Tart

Gerard's Mustard Tart

This week’s recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table was a success. This was part of French Fridays with Dorie. Gerard’s Mustard Tart was a tangy, quiche-like tart filled with carrots and leeks. I’m trying to think of other seasonal vegetables that I can match with the mustardy flavor for next time I make this.

It took a few days to get everything ready, but putting the tart together for a weeknight dinner was relatively quick. I started on Tuesday, stopping at the Lexington Farmers’ Market for the vegetables, and making the tart dough. On Wednesday, I rolled out the dough and prebaked the tart shell, and also went to the store for Crème Fraiche. Then, last night, Thursday, I made the filling and baked it for dinner.

The recipe called for 3 thin leeks and 3 not-too-fat carrots. I actually found thin leeks at the farmers’ market, a fraction of the size of what’s usually at the grocery store. I also found pencil thin carrots. I think the carrots were thinner than what the recipe expected, so I wasn’t sure how many to use. From the picture, it seemed like I wanted roughly the same amount of carrot and leek batons, so, I cut up and measured the leeks and then used the same amount of carrots. I ended up using the entire bunch of carrots. It was a heaping 2 cups of vegetables all together.

I didn’t plant any rosemary in my herb garden this year. However, I have winter savory, which is perennial. I’ve used it in place of rosemary all summer. It’s not exactly the same, but I find it close enough. The winter savory has a similar resiny flavor, and the leaves have a similar texture. So, I snipped a couple of sprigs of the savory and substituted them for the fresh rosemary in the tart.

The tart dough was different from what I usually make. My usual tart dough recipe uses slightly more butter and ice water and no egg, more of a classic pate brisee. I was interested to try to something different. I’m not sure how much I liked this recipe. It was hard to roll out evenly, it cracked a lot, and it didn’t patch easily. The crust was certainly more difficult to handle than what I’m used to. The end result was good-looking, but I thought the baked crust was slightly tough. I think when we do the next tart recipe, I might try a different crust.

One take-away technique from this recipe is using parchment paper on the baking sheet. When prebaking the crust, it didn’t seem necessary. What would leak? I tried it and learned that I could use the parchment as a sling to easily move the tart pan to the cooling rack. Usually that step is a little more treacherous because it’s awkward to pick up the hot crust with potholders. I just lifted the corners of the parchment, and the transfer was a snap.

To accompany the mustard tart, I made a simple salad with romaine lettuce and radishes and dressed it with a VERY mustardy dressing.

Howard’s opinion: “It was a very nice dish”.