From the Spring 2019 edition of the Beekman 1802 Almanac.
This breakfast tart is a bit of a labor of love – a pastry shell must be blind baked, asparagus must be roasted, walnuts must be toasted, and onions must be caramelized – but the result is well worth the effort. The tartiness of the chèvre perfectly complements the earthy flavors of the asparagus and walnuts. Pair this tart with spring greens tossed with a citrusy and bright vinaigrette.
For the Pastry Dough:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1/2 pound asparagus ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces Beekman 1802 plain chèvre goat cheese
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions whites and greens
- Yield: 1 Tart
- Servings: 8-10
- Equipment: 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
To make the dough:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar (alternatively, whisk in a large bowl). Add the butter and pulse at 1-second intervals until the butter is the size of peas (alternatively, cut butter into the flower using the back of a fork or a pastry cutter). Add the ice water and pulse again at 1-second intervals about 10 more times (alternatively, stir with a fork until mixture comes together to form a mass). Be careful not to over-pulse. The dough should not look like a cohesive mass; it should look like distinct tiny balls, but when you pinch the dough together, it should hold. Add more ice water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Transfer the crumbly mass of dough into the center of a tea towel. Gather the sides of the towel up and to the center and twist to form a beggar’s purse. When you unwrap the towel, your dough should hold in shape in a disc.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough and lay it into the pa. Press the dough into the corners and sides of the tart pan. Trim off overhanging dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling:
- Roast the asparagus: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the asparagus into 1-2 inch lengths. Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add a pinch of kosher salt and pepper to taste. Toss. Arrange in a single layer. Roast until the asparagus is just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees.
- Toast the walnuts: Spread the walnuts on a small sheet pan. Transfer to the oven and cook until just toasty, about 10 minutes. Once cool, use your fingers to break into rough pieces, leaving as much papery skin behind. Increase oven to 400 degrees.
- Blind bake the tart shell: Place the tart pan on a trimmed sheet pan. Line the tart with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights (sugar works too!). Bake for 20 minutes or until crust just begins to color at the edges. Remove pan from oven. Remove parchment paper with its contents.
- Prepare the filling: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onion is tender and beginning to carmalize, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Whisk together the eggs and cream. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Spread the onions into the tart shell. Top with the roasted asparagus and scallions. Pour the egg-cream mixture over top. Dot with the toasted walnuts and the goat cheese. Crack pepper over top to taste.
- Transfer pan to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until custard is set. Remove pan from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before cutting.