This crust is easy to make, does not require rolling out, is full of sweet roasted garlic flavour, has a beautiful crumbly texture and a definite richness to it.
Start out by roasting a head of garlic. Heat the oven to 400F.
I like to separate the cloves before placing them onto a piece of foil, and drizzling them with a bit of olive oil.
Wrap the foil loosely around the garlic and place it in the oven to roast until the cloves are soft. This takes about 20 minutes; when I start to really smell the garlic is when I check their status.
When the garlic is done, allow it to cool, and then remove the skins from the cloves. The garlic should just slide right out with a gentle squeeze.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place:
2 cups flour
1 cup soft butter
the roasted garlic
On a low speed, using the paddle, mix until everything forms a dough. Mix only until it all comes together.
This should have the consistency of a regular sweet shortbread dough. If it is too soft to press into the tart shell, wrap well and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Place the dough into a tart shell. I used an 11" one; a 10" will work as well.
I like to start with the edges first. Press the dough up against the sides, as evenly as you can, and using your thumb flatten the top.
Then move onto the bottom, gently pressing the remaining dough down, again as evenly as possible.
Place the tart shell into the fridge for a couple of hours to chill before baking.
Heat the oven to 350F, place the tart shell onto a baking sheet and bake until set and golden. this took about 20 - 25 minutes. The bottom of the crust does puff up a bit. I just use the back of a spoon to gently press it back down again.
- I used salted butter; if you are using unsalted butter add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
- Hard margarine can be used in place of the butter.
- Additional flavourings can be added. Try ground black pepper; chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives or thyme; dried herbs or spices such as cayenne pepper, oregano or ground fennel seeds; grated Parmesan cheese.
- The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated, or frozen, as long as it's well wrapped.
- The tart shell can be lined a day or two ahead; it can also be kept in the freezer (well wrapped) and taken out when you are ready to bake it.
- I filled mine with my last 1/2 leek, the last handful of grape tomatoes, a bit of cooked bacon and the bits of Swiss and asiago cheese that were in the fridge,.
- Try this recipe that uses prosciutto, ricotta cheese, thinly sliced apples and blue cheese, that would be delicious in this crust. Pears can be used instead of apples; goats cheese can be used instead of blue cheese.
2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
4 LARGE SHALLOTS, PEELED AND THINLY SLICED
1 GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED
8 OUNCES RICOTTA CHEESE
2 TABLESPOONS FRESH THYME LEAVES
2 TABLESPOONS FRESH PARSLEY, CHOPPED
2 EGG YOLKS
1 CUP WHIPPING CREAM
SALT AND PEPPER
7 OUNCES BLUE CHEESE, CRUMBLED
4 THIN SLICES PROSCIUTTO
1 APPLE, CORED AND THINLY SLICED
- HEAT OVEN TO 350F.
- HEAT OLIVE OIL, COOK SHALLOTS AND GARLIC UNTIL SOFT AND CARAMELIZED.
- ADD RICOTTA AND HERBS AND COOK FOR A FURTHER 2 MINUTES.
- SPREAD ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE TART SHELL.
- WHISK TOGETHER EGGS, EGG YOLKS, CREAM AND SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.
- POUR INTO THE CRUST.
- SPRINKLE THE BLUE CHEESE OVER THE TOP OF THE CUSTARD.
- LAY THE PROSCIUTTO AND APPLE SLICES ON TOP OF THE CHEESE.
- PLACE THE TART IN THE OVEN AND BAKE UNTIL RISEN AND GOLDEN, ABOUT 25 MINUTES.