Monday, September 1, 2008

Creamy Eggplant Tarts with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Creamy Eggplant Tarts

Creamy Eggplant Tarts

I love individual tarts. You don't have to slice them, so none of your guests will be stuck with a sorry, collapsing piece on their plate. They're also easy to shape and unmold, especially if you use rings instead of pans.

This is another recipe from Tarts: Sweet and Savory. The filling is a simple combination of pureed roast eggplant, garlic, spices, and eggs. It's a lighter, relatively inexpensive option that's perfect for summer. Grilled eggplants would taste especially good- the oven never achieves that charred, smoky flavor.

I only have a few notes on this recipe, mostly concerning the tomatoes. The two hour baking time was too long for my oven- I would check the tomatoes after one hour and evaluate how much more time they need. They should be bright red and not completely dried out.

The tart isn't the most attractive one in the book either. A simple garnish of chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil go a long way. I might even add a dollop of sour cream or thick greek yogurt in the future.

The original recipe uses a paprika and gruyere pastry dough, but I used leftover shortcrust pastry. The thin, crispy crust was a nice contrast to the creamy filling. Plan on budgeting 2 oz of dough per 4 inch diameter ring or pan.

Creamy Eggplant Tart with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
adapted from Maxine Clark's Tarts: Sweet and Savory

Paprika and Gruyere Pastry Dough
6 tbsp butter
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp ice water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
1 lb large ripe cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Eggplant Filling
2 medium eggplants
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 large eggs, beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp of olive oil, to finish
a baking sheet
a 10x6 inch rectangular tart pan, or 6 4-inch diameter tart rings/pans

To prepare the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 325F. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and arrange them cut side up on a baking sheet. Put the garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Spoon or brush over the cut tomatoes. Bake slowly for about 2 hours, checking every now and then. They should be slightly shrunk and still a brilliant red color. If too dark, they will taste bitter. You can use the tomatoes right away or pack them into a container and cover with olive oil.

To make the pastry dough, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the paprika, mustard, gruyere, salt, and pepper. Mix the egg with 2 tbsp cold water and mix into the flour for a soft dough. Sprinkle with a little more water if the mixture is too dry.

Knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. Use to line the tart pan, then prick the base and chill or freeze for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F, line with parchment or foil filled with pie weights/dried beans, and blind bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, until dry.

To make the filling, prick the eggplants all over and bake for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and let cool. (Or prick each eggplant in 2-3 places and microwave on high for about 12 minutes until soft.)

Turn down the oven to 350. Halve the eggplants and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Add the garlic, paprika, oregano, eggs, salt, and pepper to taste, then blend until smooth. Pour into the pie crust and bake for about 25 minutes or until set.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Arrange the roasted tomatoes over the surface to cover completely. Sprinkle with the olive oil, or use oil from the jar if you have stored the tomatoes, then serve.

6 comments:

Abe said...

those look gorgeous! i'll have to try them.

Brilynn said...

I think those tarts look great! And I agree, mini tarts are much easier to serve as there's no cutting involved.

Haley said...

These look delicious! Great recipe!

We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest (the recipe can be sweet or savory). All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, haleyglasco@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/

Thanks :),
Haley
KI Blogger

Zoe Francois said...

These are just beautiful. What a wonderful combination of flavors and perfectly presented.

Hillary said...

I like how the tomatoes flatten out to make a lovely top. They're so beautiful and I imagine they're pretty delicious too.

Christina said...

Oh, those look delicious!