Happy Pi Day! Celebrate with this tasty Herbed Goat Cheese Tart!
I think this is the first year I have actually made a pie (tart) for 3.14. I was reminded last night when I popped into the grocery store for a few things for dinner and saw a stack of pies by the automatic doors. I started thinking about which recipe I’d like to make for the occasion. It came to me as I was picking up fresh herbs for another recipe I’m working on.
I remembered back a few years ago to a tart I made a few times to enter into a recipe contest. As you know, I adore fresh goat cheese. I came up with this recipe to show off a bunch of locally made products as part of the contest. I didn’t end up winning, but one of the judges came up to me afterwards to tell me how much he enjoyed the tart.
On the way home from the contest, I got a call from my husband telling me that everyone from his side of the family was meeting at a restaurant for lunch. So I joined them. I pulled the tart out of the cooler (it was summer) and we all stood in the parking lot eating small slices out of our hands while we waited for our table to be ready. Ha! I love that memory so much. It was a sweltering day, as I recall, and the cool, herbed goat cheese tart tasted so good while we waited.
We all have stories, don’t we? My stories are intertwined with my fond memories of food from my childhood on up to today. We all have those kinds of memories. Maybe it’s a favorite recipe for pot roast our grandmother made, or the first time we tried oysters on a half shell, or discovered a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Food is integral to many of our stories, at least that is the case for most, if not all of my stories.
I think that’s why I resonate so well with people who write about food. I’m around food all day long as part of my job. I’m cooking for my sweet little family and other people I love. I occasionally teach classes. It’s a part of my life that I can’t separate from who I am.
There’s a new cookbook, Pieography: Where Pie Meets Biography from the ladies at Where Women Create, that is more than just recipes. It includes stories from 39 women in addition to the 42 savory and sweet pie recipes in the book.
I love the homespun feel of this book. The pictures are beautiful and also help tell the stories. The recipes are crazy, out-of-this world fun. A few traditional recipes are mixed in along with so many new, fun combinations that I’d never even thought of before. So many sweet and savory pies I can’t wait to try myself! I have a house full of pie fans, so I’m sure I’ll have ample time to try them all sooner or later.
So back to this tart. Let’s talk about how delicious it is. I think you might want to make it. I’d forgotten how delicious it is. I changed the recipe to make it more creamy. I cut out half of the cream cheese from my original recipe and added nonfat Greek yogurt. Think: a cross between a cheesecake and custard. The lemon and herbs make it bright and sunny. Perfect for a brunch or light lunch. I loved it with a side of fresh baby spinach. And truthfully, I would still eat this out of hand in the parking lot. :)
- For crust:
- ½ cup superfine brown rice flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. butter, very cold and cut into 16 pieces
- 1 large egg+ 2 tsp. water, whisked well
- For Filling:
- 10 oz. chevre (fresh goat cheese)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 oz. (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup packed fresh herbs--basil, lemon thyme, sage, chives, oregano, dill, and parsley
- Finely grated zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- ¼ tsp. salt
- A few shakes ground black pepper
- For compote:
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup or more fresh parsley and oregano, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For crust: In a food processor, pulse the first 6 ingredients. Scatter butter over the flours and pulse until only pea-sized or smaller pieces of butter remain. While pulsing, drizzle the egg and water mixture through the feed hole. Continue pulsing gently until the dough starts to come together, being very careful not to overwork the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a 10” or 11” round tart pan and gently pat the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Chill the dough in the pan for about 30 minutes or until firm. (Freeze for 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the shiny side of a double layer of foil with non-stick cooking spray. Press the foil against the surface of the dough. Fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes with the weights/beans then carefully lift the foil out of the pan and continue baking the crust for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool while preparing the herbed cheese filling.
- For filling:Place the herbs in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Transfer the herbs to a clean bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- In the same bowl of the food processor or in the bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese and goat cheese. Pulse or beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Add the cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Process or beat well, scraping sides of the bowl, until no lumps remain and all the filling is smooth. Pour the filling into a clean bowl and whisk in the reserved herbs. Pour over the crust and bake for about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the tart to a cooling rack. Cool completely and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- At least 30 minutes before serving, prepare Cherry Tomato Topping.
- To serve, allow the tart to come to room temperature. Cut into wedges and top with the tomato topping and a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
- For Cherry Tomato Compote:
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or several hours for flavors to meld. Serve on top of the herbed chevre tart.