DDD #113 – Vegan Heirloom Tomato Tart (Pie) with Homemade Buttery Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I keep throwing softballs like this out there to you kids.  Softballs in that the recipe is easy & the result delicious.  When, oh when, will you trust me & try one?

This one is almost like a quiche but uses no eggs or heavy cream – and it is vegan!  I used three colors of heirloom tomatoes but any tomatoes would work, even cherry tomatoes, I suspect.

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For the pastry crust

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

16 TBS ice cold (even frozen) vegan butter

1/4 cup or more of ice water

Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

Pie crust – uncooked

5-6 heirloom (or other) tomatoes – sliced thin

2 cups fresh arugula

2 cloves garlic

1 (14 oz) block firm tofu

4 oz vegan cream cheese

2 slices of your favorite flavor vegan cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan – grated  (plus a bit extra for topping – optional)

S&P

Basil – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the pastry crust

Put the flour, salt & sugar in a food processor.  Pulse to blend.  Then, 1 TBS at a time, pulse in the cold butter until it is all incorporated.  Add a few TBS water & pulse until little balls of dough begin to form & it falls away from the bowl of the processor.

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Remove from the bowl & press into two balls – one a tad larger than the other.  Press flat, wrap in plastic wrap & chill for about an hour.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.

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DIRECTIONS

for the Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Press the dough into a greased pie or tart pan.  A traditional pie dish is absolutely OK to use – as is a spring form pan.  Slit the crust at the bottom and par-bake it for 7 minutes.

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Put the sliced tomatoes on paper towels, salt them & press more paper towels on top.  If your tomatoes are very wet & seedy, squeeze some of the seeds out to avoid excess moisture in the pie.  You can see that I did this with my red tomatoes.

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Meanwhile, blend the tofu, cream cheese, cheese slices, vegan Parmesan, arugula & garlic in a blender or food processor.  Season with S&P.

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When the crust has baked 7 minutes, top with the cup of grated Parmesan, the tofu mix & the drained tomatoes.  Add some S&P.  Maybe sprinkle some grated vegan Parmesan on top.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes – or until the ricotta is set.  You might need to wrap the edges of your pie with foil (or one of these cool silicone things – the red thing below – that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond) to prevent the crust from over-browning.

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When the center seems set, allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.  It can be eaten warm or room temperature.

Garnish with basil & eat it up!

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Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Browsing randomly on Pinterest, I saw that spiral tart (above by Bake to the Roots) & I knew I had to make one.  But – I decided to adapt the recipe & make it vegan.  Overall – it was easier than I thought but, if I were to make this again (and I probably will), I would use a vegetable peeler to shave really thin pieces of the vegetables.  My mandolin cut the pieces thicker than was manageable – so I had to blanch all my veggies.  Also – while I tried to assemble it the way Baked to the Roots suggested (by creating the spiral from the inside out & then sliding the completed spiral into the crust) –

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– that proved trickier than I could handle.  Even tying kitchen string around it did nothing to make it stable enough to transfer.  So – I built it up from the inside out – but IN the crust with the poured cheese at the bottom.  And – if I were to try this again – I would use a potato peeler to slice thin veggies – skip blanching (except maybe the carrots) – and roll it up like a tire – starting with a center bit and alternating vegetables – but rolling it tight & upright (again – like a tire) – like they did on The Sweet Spot – seen below.

spiral-vege-tart

See how much thinner her slices of veggies are than mine?  I bet rolling that fucker up was a breeze compared to my attempts.

Anyway – either way – the result is gorgeous & impressive & delicious & good for you!  So – if you need to bring a show stopper to some holiday party this season – let me suggest this!  I bet nobody will ever have seen one before.

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Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

for the pastry

1 1/2 cups flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ice cold vegan butter

1 TBS ice water

for the filling

1 cup vegan cheddar shreds

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese

S&P

1 tsp or more of chili powder or any herbs of your choice (I used chili powder)

3-4 medium zucchini (green or yellow or both – I used green)

1 medium eggplant

2-3 large carrots

olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

You have two choices for making the dough.

In a large bowl – mix flour and salt and cold butter in small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the water and knead the dough. Work quick so the dough does not get too warm. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge 30-60 minutes.

OR – pulse the butter into the flour/salt in a food processor & add the water at the end.  For me – this resulted in just a bowl of crumbs but I poured them onto plastic wrap & used the wrap to press the crumbs into a ball.  I then wrapped it & put it in the fridge.

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Grease a 10 inch tart tin*.  Maybe vegan butter is less binding than real butter – but I could not roll out the crust.  So – I just pressed it – in pieces – into the tart pan until the bottom was covered & the crust went almost an inch up the sides.  Place in the fridge for another 10 minutes to cool down.  Doesn’t look great but nobody is ever gonna see it.  Plus – when you make things that come out a little “rough around the edges,” just call them “rustic” and everything is excused.

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Take the tin out of the fridge, line with baking parchment and fill with (baking) beans or a second tin bit smaller than the one with the dough. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden in color. Take out of the oven and set aside.   I used parchment paper & a pottery planter.  I don’t think they were really necessary – so – if you are feeling lazy & adventurous – just bake the thing naked for 15-20 – or until it just starts turning color.  (Ignore the circle I drew on that paper.)  Remove from the oven & raise oven temperature to 375.

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For the filling, melt the cheddar, cream cheese & sour cream together in a sauce pan & then stir in any seasoning or herbs you chose.  Season a bit with S&P.  Set aside.

Wash the vegetables and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin or a sharp knife (I would recommend the peeler). The strips should have about the same height – so you might have to half them or cut parts off. You will need a lot of those strips, so keep slicing. When done, place flat on a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese-mix into the pre-baked crust and spread evenly.   I did not use quite all the cheese I had.  You might use more or less – depending on the height of the edges of your tart – but don’t fill it up or the cheese will bubble over as you add the veggies.

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If your veggies are too thick or stiff for rolling – blanch them in boiling water.  My slices were almost 1/4″ thick so I started by blanching the carrots for 3 minutes & then adding the zucchini for one minute & then adding the eggplant for a final minute – so – my carrots spent 5 minutes softening.  If you used a peeler – your slices should be very thin & you might not need to blanch anything – or maybe just the carrots for a minute.  If you blanch things, though, submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking & to make them cool enough to handle.  Pat them dry in some paper towel.

Start rolling the vegetables, by starting with one strip of carrot for example in a tight circle and then wrap zucchini or eggplant strips around.  I suggest either doing this as demonstrated in the photo above (like a tire) or by just starting by curling strips around each other – directly in the center of the tart.  Play around with the different vegetable strips so you get a nice color mix at the end.  Continue wrapping & rolling until your circle of rolled vegetables is roughly 10 inches in diameter – or you tart is full.  If you rolled them like a tire – carefully place your spiral down onto the cheese filling of the tart & use extra strips to fill in any gaps.  I had lots of extra veggies so I just pureed them into a can of dog food for my dogs’ dinner.

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Brush with some olive oil & season with S&P.  Bake for 40-50 minutes. If the vegetables start to get too dark, cover with some aluminum foil and continue baking.   Allow to rest at least ten minutes before removing from the tart pan.

Feast your eyes on your gorgeous creation & commence the feast!

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Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – this one takes a few steps but all are easy & you end up with a GIGANTIC mound of all things savory & Thanksgivingy!  It is a bread course, sweet potato/squash dish, creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes & chicken courses – all rolled into one.  You can sub out the ingredients to suit your tastes.  This is basically an enclosed shepherd’s pie & is as versatile at shepherd’s pie is.

**PLEASE NOTE** – transferring this tart from the cooking sheet onto a serving platter might prove VERY tricky.  It will be very heavy – and the warmer it is when you try to transfer it – the more delicate that procedure will be.  It would SUCK to put all the work in – only to break it when you are ready to serve it.  If you don’t have two very large spatulas – and maybe an assistant – perhaps consider cooking this on something you can also serve it on.  Surrounding it with leafy kale (or other greens) at the base & a few cranberries & it will look festive & spare you the trauma of transferring it to a platter.  SERIOUSLY consider baking & serving from the same piece.  I am devastated just imagining what a failed transfer would do to my life – and I don’t want that for you.

Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach, Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

Feeds 8 easily

INGREDIENTS

for the soft tart dough

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

8 ounces vegan butter

3/4 cup silken tofu – pureed (I just smashed it all up with a fork)

1/3 cup vegan milk

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for the creamed spinach 

1 small onion or large shallot – diced

1 lb fresh spinach

2 (9 oz) packages vegan chicken (I highly recommend Beyond Meat brand.  Best on the market!) – cubed

4 oz vegan cream cheese

1/2 cup vegan milk

4 slices vegan cheese (I used the Chao below)

S&P

Olive oil

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for the scalloped potatoes

2-3 medium potatoes – peeled & cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS flour

2 cups vegan milk

7 oz vegan cheese (I used that Daiya below)

1 cup panko or other bread crumbs

S&P

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for the sweet potato-butternut squash puree

1 butternut squash – peeled & cubed

1 large sweet potato – peeled & cubed

4 TBS vegan butter

Pinch of nutmeg

S&P

PARCHMENT PAPER for cooking

Vegan egg wash – small but equal parts agave nectar – soy milk – olive oil

GARNISH – kale (or other leafy greens) and fresh cranberries – to arrange around the tart.

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DIRECTIONS

for the soft tart dough

By food processor: Combine flour, salt & butter in a food processor using a metal blade.  Process with short pulses until the mixture is crumbly.  Add tofu with short pulses.  Add milk, gradually, with short pulses until it begins to clump and – eventually – orbit as a ball inside the food processor.  You might need a little more flour.  When the dough is formed – it will be very soft.   Gather it into a ball & wrap it tightly with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour but up to 3 days.  When ready to roll it out bring it back to room temperature and flour a work surface to facilitate handling.

By hand: combine flour & salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center & add the butter and the smashed silken tofu.  Lightly blend the butter & tofu with fingertips.  With a knife or pastry blade, cut the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture.  Gradually, add the milk – tossing with a fork until the dough comes together.  The dough will be very soft.  Add more flour if it is too wet.  Gather it into a ball & wrap it tightly with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour but up to 3 days.  When ready to roll it out bring it back to room temperature and flour a work surface to facilitate handling.

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for the scalloped potatoes

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a stock pot & whisk in the flour & a little S&P.  Heat until it just begins to turn golden then slowly add the milk – letting it thicken before you add more.  When all the milk is incorporated & it is still sorta thick – melt in the cheese.  Season with salt & pepper.  Toss with the sliced potatoes & place in a greased casserole dish.  Top with panko or bread crumbs & cook for 45-60 minutes or until it is bubbling & the crumbs are browned.  Set aside.

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for the creamed spinach & chicken

Heat a TBS of olive oil in a saute pan & cook the onions until soft.  Add the spinach & let it wilt – then add the cream cheese & milk.  Heat until the cheese melts & you have a thick & creamy spinach.  Season with S&P & toss the chicken in & stir.  Set aside.

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for the sweet potato-butternut puree

Boil the sweet potato & butternut chunks until soft.  I then drained them & mashed them with the butter, nutmeg and S&P.  Set aside.

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to assemble the tart

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap.  A moderately deep & wide one is best.  If the bowl is too deep – your tart will be too tall & be more likely to collapse.  Also – be sure your bowl opening (at the top) is no wider than the cooking sheet you will be using to bake the tart.

Roll out 2/3 of the dough big enough that it not only lines your bowl but has overhang.

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Place a thin layer of puree in the bottom & then a thick layer of scalloped potatoes & then the rest of the puree.  Put the four slices of cheese on top of that then all of the spinach & chicken.

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Roll out the remaining dough so that it fits the top of your bowl & then fold the edges of the bottom crust over it & use a knife or fork to pinch it sealed.  Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper & invert it on top of your tart – and VERY CAREFULLY – flip it over so your tart is sealed-side down.  Be sure to put the cooking sheet with the parchment ON TOP OF your bowl & flip.  Do not try to just flip the bowl onto the cooking sheet.   This sucker likely weighs more than a turkey & the soft dough will not withstand that much pressure.  Remove the bowl & the plastic wrap.

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I sprayed it with cooking oil but found that did not give me a golden glaze so – mix up a little vegan egg wash (small but equal parts agave nectar – soy milk – olive oil) and occasionally brush the tart as it bakes.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until it looks nice & browned.

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Look how HUGE that thing is!  See the pastry brush?  That has to be 12 inches long.

OK – here comes a tricky part.  Let it cool a while before fussing with it.  Once anything that seeped out of it has pretty much cooled – run a knife under it to loosen the tart from the escapes bits.  I used an ENORMOUS spatula & the parchment paper to very delicately shift the tart to a serving plate.  It is a heavy & unwieldy thing – so be very delicate when handling this tart – get assistance, if possible.  If the transfer is too risky for you – consider just putting some leafy greens & cranberries around the base on the pan itself & serve this bad boy directly from the cooking sheet.  Better to go low brow than having this guy fall apart.

This should be served warm but is delicious at room temperature, too.

Happy vegan Thanksgiving!

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Arugula, Ricotta, Cream Cheese and Parmesan Pie with Heirloom Tomatoes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I keep throwing softballs like this out there to you kids.  Softballs in that the recipe is easy & the result delicious.  When, oh when, will you trust me & try one?

This one is almost like a quiche but uses no eggs or heavy cream.   I suppose it can be made vegan – if you can find vegan alternatives to the dairy ingredients.    I used three colors of heirloom tomatoes but any tomatoes would work, even cherry tomatoes, I suspect.  I used a packaged, raw pastry dough but you can make your own if your prefer.  HERE is a recipe for dough that I included in my Savory Three Mushroom & Kale Pie, seen just below.

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The ingredients & instructions lists are short so, if you like tomatoes & arugula & a light but creamy entree – why not give this one a try?
Arugula, Ricotta, Cream Cheese & Parmesan Heirloom Tomato Pie

INGREDIENTS

Pie crust – uncooked

3 heirloom (or other) tomatoes – sliced thin

2 cups fresh arugula

2 cloves garlic

15 oz fresh ricotta – or vegan alternative

4 oz cream cheese – or vegan alternative

S&P

1 cup Parmesan – grated  – or vegan alternative

Basil – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Press the dough into a greased pie or tart pan.  A traditional pie dish is absolutely OK to use – as is a spring form pan.  Slit the crust at the bottom and par-bake it for 7 minutes.

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Put the sliced tomatoes on paper towels, salt them & press more paper towels on top.  If your tomatoes are very wet & seedy, squeeze some of the seeds out to avoid excess moisture in the pie.  You can see that I did this with my red tomatoes.

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Meanwhile, blend the ricotta, cream cheese, arugula & garlic in a blender or food processor.  Season with S&P.

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When the crust has baked 7 minutes, top with the cup of grated Parmesan, the ricotta mix & the drained tomatoes.  Add some S&P.

Bake for 45-60 minutes – or until the ricotta is set.  You might need to wrap the edges of your pie with foil (or one of these cool silicone things – the red thing below – that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond) to prevent the crust from over-browning.

Depending on how deep your crust and/or pan might be – it is possible that you will have leftovers of the ricotta filling.  If you do – hang onto it.  Don’t overfill the crust or you run the risk of the tomatoes slipping off while cooking.   I will post a pizza recipe tomorrow that uses the ricotta filling.

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When the center seems set, allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.  It can be eaten warm or room temperature.

Garnish with basil & eat it up!

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Tomato Pie (Tart) with Not-Fried Green Heirloom Tomatoes & Spicy Remoulade (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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OK.  This is fucking easy & light & can be vegan if you have a vegan dough recipe.  I used a Pillsbury pie crust which I just discovered has lard in it.  Oops!  I won’t make that mistake again.

Anyway – you can make your own pie crust with vegan butter or use a pre-made thing that is ACCIDENTALLY vegan – like Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls.  Check out SO FAKE IT IS VEGAN or PETA’s ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN list for some surprising vegan items.

The fact is – if you are vegan but not on a gluten-free diet – you probably can figure out your pie crust pretty easily.  Gluten-avoiders probably have all their alternative options lined up, too, so I am not going to worry.  I am just gonna post this easy & yummy thing & let you guys work out subbing where you need to sub.

I really LOVE fried green tomatoes but good luck finding genuine green tomatoes in LA.  Yet – often when I squeeze the heirloom selection – the green ones are very hard.  Likely, they would be red ones if left on the vine long enough.  Who cares?  The hard green ones (and a resilient yellow one) worked great in this dish.  And, while it offers most of the pleasures of a fried green tomato recipe, it is not fried at all & comes with far less guilt.

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This spicy remoulade I made is basically spicy Thousand Island dressing.  Or – a tweak on the Delta Dipping Sauce I posted with my Spicy Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips and my “Oh, shit!  I ate too big of a chunk of a pot truffle and now I need to cook my way out of an eighteen hour high” dinner (for THAT story – look here – and read the whole post) – Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese – seen below, respectively.

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There are a bunch of ingredients but you just blend them up & go – so don’t be intimidated.

SPICY REMOULADE

INGREDIENTS

(PS – you can go ALL mayo rather than with yogurt – if the extra calories don’t concern you or if vegan yogurt is hard to find.)

1/2 cup yogurt – or vegan alternative

1/4 cup mayo – or vegan alternative

1/8 cup grain or Dijon mustard

1-3 garlic cloves

1 tsp dill pickle juice

1 cocktail dill pickle

1 tsp capers

1/2 tsp prepared horseradish

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp hot or smoked paprika

1 tsp hot sauce (I used Crystal)

DIRECTIONS

Blend that shit up in a food processor or blender.  Refrigerate.

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Tomato Pie (Tart) with Not-Fried Green Heirloom Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

Pie crust for the tart shell (I used Pillsbury but I hear there is lard in them – so choose or make your crust with your own dietary restrictions in mind)

4 heirloom tomatoes (color selection not important) – mine were NOT ripe & were rock hard so look for this sort (or the hardest tomatoes you can find)  – sliced very thin

1 small sweet onion – sliced thin

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

S&P

2 TBS butter – or vegan alternative

3/4 cup Panko or other bread crumbs

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Basil or arugula or parsley as garnish (insanely optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

I used a spring form tart pan like this one (photo stolen from Google):

tart-pan

ANY spring form pan or even a traditional pie dish will do – so don’t go buying something you don’t need.

Whatever pan you use – grease it up with cooking spray or olive oil or butter.

Slice the tomatoes & lay them on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt & press more paper towels on top.  This will remove lots of their moisture so your tart is not soggy.

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Press your crust dough into whatever pan you are using and cut some vent slits in the bottom & bake empty (par-bake) for SEVEN MINUTES.  Take it out of the oven & set aside.

After the tomatoes drain for 15 minutes or more – layer the sliced onions & garlic & tomatoes into your crust.  Add lots of S&P.

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Melt the butter in a pan and add the panko & seasonings.  Spread it on top of the tomatoes.

Wrap tightly in foil (don’t forget the foil or your panko will burn) and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour – erring on the longer oven-time if you want really soft tomatoes.  Remove the foil & bake another five minutes or until the panko turns golden.

Let this sucker rest unmolested for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.

Serve with the spicy remoulade & any garnish you feel inspired to use.  Bust out some champagne.  It’s the holidays!   Draw a hot bubble bath & polish off the champagne in the tub – with a copy of my book!  www.bathingbook.com!  Makes a great stocking stuffer – assuming the recipients of your stuffed stockings like to read raunchy comedies about drinking too much & regrettable sex.

Cheers!

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Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart

3 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

Follow @celisemccarthy

I had a really brutal holiday season.  Very isolated (right down to a three day stint with no internet or cable) where the only people I saw for days on end were the AT&T techs that came to my house a few times a day for a few days.  I used this as an excuse to drink champagne before noon & cook myself foolish and I ate enough for a small family.

Christmas night – I accidentally locked myself into a storage closet that is little more than a bunker because I had no idea that the door locked at all – let alone from the outside.  Me & three dogs locked in a windowless room in the deepest recess of my house – a room most of my friends do not even know exists.  A series of UNBELIEVABLY LUCKY breaks is all that stands between me typing this now & me, officially missing, locked in a small room with three pooping & peeing dogs & a case of wine with no wine opener.  The luck came in these forms:

1) I had recently (like – last week) installed a light in there that could be turned on from INSIDE the room.

2) I had my cell phone with me.

3) My phone MIRACULOUSLY got cell service – despite the fact that it hardly gets service anywhere in my house.

4) I had a little tool box in there with a hammer, screwdriver & pliers.

5) The door is hinged on the inside.

So – I called my mother in Boston (at 1:30am her time) and my boyfriend in Arkansas to tell them I was trapped.  I called a local friend, my friend Dave, and told him how to break into my house.  My plan was to just sleep in there & have him bust me out in the AM.  I think it was my mother who asked if I had tools & when I confirmed that I did – she told me to take the door off the hinges which, feeling VERY McGyver-esque – I did.

So – I am not a week of no food thinner, nor are my hands & throat bloodied from efforts to escape or draw someone’s attention to my predicament.  A week long fast might not have been the worst thing – but a week in the dark with three hungry dogs and lots of poop would have REALLY warped my mind.

Anyway – so on December 31, I decided to make a decadent dessert to bring as an offering to the party I was to attend that night.  It would be the first time I did ANYTHING remotely social since Christmas eve and I was desperate for a way to shed the self pity & negativity I had wallowed in for a week.  I had almond bark in the fridge that I had made on Xmas eve.  I decided to break some of that up & use it in a cannoli tart.  I also decided to make the ricotta cheese required from scratch, too.   You can just use store bought ricotta & chocolate chips, though.

After I made the ricotta cheese & the made (and chilled) the cinnamon crust & then the cannoli filling – I assembled and baked this gorgeous tart.  Because the ricotta was homemade – I expected a lighter, fluffier result.  The smells of cinnamon & chocolate filled my house.

I took the tart out of the oven & went to sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  Alas – I had none – so I used some Ghiradelli ground chocolate & cocoa.

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White would be prettier but whatever.  I photographed this guy extensively because I never post desserts & I wanted to get this first effort just right.  I reached into the cabinet overhead for a plate I could transport the tart on.  I selected one & closed the cabinets.  As I popped off a few final shots, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get a shot of it SLICED, I heard a rumble.  Suddenly, the cabinet doors I had just closed burst open & the cabinet began vomiting a torrent of dishes, both plastic & ceramic, all over my counter & floor.  It was so loud & sudden it nearly gave me a heart attack.  When it was over – I calmed myself & assessed the damage.  Several broken plates, glass everywhere and one DOA assassinated Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart.

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I almost cried.  The dishes didn’t matter.  The tart!!!  I had worked so lovingly on it.  And there wasn’t time to make another – even from store bought ricotta.  I would have to go to my party empty-handed.  😦

So – at a loss as to what else I could do –  I cut out a nice slice from an unmarred section & took these photos.

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I tasted it, too.  It was incredible.  Just as light & subtle (not too sweet) as I’d hoped.  I kept this slice in the fridge & sampled it last night after a day of chilling.  It took on a more dense, cheesecake-like quality & remained delicious!  So – while nobody else got to taste this baby, I recommend you try it.  With store-bought ricotta & chocolate chips (and powdered sugar) – you could do this fairly easily & it should look as lovely as it tastes.

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PRINT THIS RECIPE

Chocolate Cannoli Tart

INGREDIENTS

FILLING

2 1/2 cups ricotta (instructions on EASY homemade ricotta HERE.  It will net you just under 2 cups – so I added 1/2 cup of store-bought. If you are making ricotta you need: 9 cups whole milk, 1 cup buttermilk, salt & white vinegar.)

1 egg

1 TBS sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips – more for melting if you want to garnish with a chocolate drizzle

powdered sugar as a topping – or cocoa – or shave a candy bar (dark or white chocolate) over the tart as garnish – or drizzle melted chocolate chips

CRUST

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

6 TBS cold butter – cubed

1 egg

1-3 TBS milk – or more

DIRECTIONS

Make the ricotta – directions HERE.  Or use store-bought.

Make the crust in a food processor.  Blend the flour, sugar, salt & cinnamon.  Add the butter in pieces & pulse to incorporate.  Add the egg & the milk (one TBS at a time) & pulse until a ball forms that travels around the bowl.  You might need less than 3 TBS of milk – maybe more.

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Roll the ball of dough round & press into a circle.  Place it between two pieces of parchment paper & roll it out until it is big enough for your tart pan.  I made mine kinda too big but I like a rustic look.  Grease your tart pan (or spring form pan) & press your crust into the pan.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

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For the filling – use your food processor to blend the ricotta, sugar, egg & vanilla.  Do not over process this.  Add the chocolate chips & pulse to mix them in.

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Pour this into your chilled crust.  Know that the filling will rise up a bit to do not over-fill your crust.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.  Mine was done in 30.

Let the tart cool completely.  Then – sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over the tart or melt some extra chocolate chips & drizzle them over it or shave a dark or white chocolate bar over the tart.

PRINT THIS RECIPE

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FOLLOW-UP to my Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza Pie

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

This is a follow-up post on my Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza Pie post.  While I initially felt my success with the deep dish pizza had two major flaws (a too thin crust & too wet contents) – let me show you what this beauty:

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became after a night in the fridge:

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The contents condensed measurably.  It went from a 2 1/2 inch deep pie to a one inch deep tart.    No longer too wet – it is moist & solid – is slices up like a dream now.  It is DELICIOUS at room temperature & even better reheated.  Look how pretty!

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So – I take back everything I said initially about this guy.  There is so much flavor packed into one dense little slice – with the addition of a simple salad – you would have a very elegant meal – whether for brunch, lunch or dinner.  So – go ahead & make one of these guys & you will have good eating on your hands for DAYS!!!!

ORIGINAL POST IS HERE.