Monday, January 28, 2013

GOAT CHEESE and APPLE TART

"This is a really good dessert," said my mother, who guards her compliments as though they are $100 dollar bills.  "A really good dessert.'  She said it twice.  I had all ready tasted it, so I knew it was good.  You know how it is though, you always want validation from your toughest critic.  So now that I know for sure that it's "a really good dessert," I will be proud to take the rest of it to work, for my co-workers to enjoy.
So many tastes and textures to enjoy:  soft, crunchy, creamy-thick, sweet, tart, lemony, apple topped, wonderful!  

I wanted to make a goat cheese and apple tart ever since I read about one in "The Huger Games."  How to proceed though?  I remembered how pretty the French apple tarts are, so I decided to make one of those and use goat cheese as a filling.  It took two tries.  The first time I made a tart with store bought dough (hey, nothing wrong with that - I was in a hurry).  That first dessert had a good taste, but it looked awful.
Ouch!  This is the first version.  I'll say it again:  ouch!!!
I didn't give up though.  Because the goat cheese filling had a nice taste, I tried again.  This time I made my own crust...
Pâte Sablée  in the making...
I made a thicker goat cheese filling, and I did not pre-cook the apples, as I had done last time.  I just sliced them very, very, thin, and they cooked up perfectly in the oven.  The second time, my tart was a winner.  So, I highly recommend this tart.  I really do.  Try it, you will love it.  The goat cheese is not too sweet, it has a nice lemony tart-sweet flavor.  The crust is excellent.  I used a pâte sablée  dough, based on the recipe by Julia Child.  The apples were the crowning touch, sweet, cinnamony.  So many tastes and textures to enjoy:  soft, crunchy, creamy-thick, sweet, tart, lemony, apple topped, wonderful!  
This tart was a winner!!!
For the crust:
You will need a nine inch tart pan.  Make your favorite crust for a nine inch tart pan. After it's placed in the pan, blind bake the crust until it's halfway done.

For the apples:
3 to 4 large apples, peeled and sliced very thinly.  Sprinkle them lightly with lemon juice, so that they don't turn brown.   Don't use too much lemon though, because any extra juice will thin out the cheese in the tart.


For the goat cheese filling:
8 ounces of soft goat cheese
1 egg
zest from 1/2 lemon
a dash of vanilla
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until they are mixed. The mixture should come out thick, not runny.  If it's runny, add a little more corn starch.

Pour the cheese mixture onto the dough in the tart pan and then arrange the apples over the cheese.  Work in a circular pattern, starting from the edge, creating rows until you reach the center.  Pack the apples in as well as you can.  It may seem like a lot of apples are being used, but as you know, apples shrink when they bake.When you reach the center, top it with some apple slices arranged in a decorative pattern.

For the topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:
Mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Cut the butter into small chunks.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and dot with the butter.  Bake at 350º F for about 1 hour.

2 comments:

  1. All your recipes sound so delicious. I've saved the Tart to make later, and want to do the bread and stew as well. Perfect for the book selection.

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  2. I nearly made a version of this, too, for my entry. Since Katniss's district was a coal mining town, I thought a take on the Cornish pasty (with goat cheese and apple stuffing) would have worked. But I'm not much of a baker and felt stew was a little more my speed. Thanks for the inspiration!

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