Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tart aux Blettes for Bastille Day

Last week's baking experiment was tart aux blettes (swiss chard tart). With July 14 being France's National Day Bastille Day, I've been in a French food frame of mind and chard is one of the few greens in the garden that produces well into the summer. The French have a great tradition of savory vegetable tarts that are a good balance to sweet pies. Because I'm lactose-intolerant I like to replace the dairy with alterna-milks when I can. I modified a recipe from Gourmet by substituting the cream with firm tofu instead of cream and added frizzled leeks. This produced a quiche-like consistency.
chiffonade of green swiss chard
finished tart

Tourte aux Blettes 
TOTAL TIME: 4 1/4 hr
• 1/2 cup golden raisins
• 1 cup water
• 2 pounds green Swiss chard, stems and center ribs discarded
• 1 large egg
• 1 pkg firm tofu
• 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
• 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) sliced almonds
• one pate brisee pastry dough
Bring raisins and water to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain in a colander, then pat dry with paper towels. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Blanch chard in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain chard in a colander, then squeeze out excess water by handfuls. Coarsely chop chard. Slice the leeks into thin rounds and cook over medium heat in butter until soft.
Whisk together egg, crumbled firm tofu, granulated sugar, zest, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Stir in raisins, leeks, and chard until combined.
Prepare the pastry dough (I used this pate brisee Dorie Greenspan recipe). Press into a 9 inch round pie plate or tart pan. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Cover the bottom with sliced almonds to keep the crust crisp. Spread chard filling evenly into shell. Put tart in pan on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack and cool 10 minutes, then remove the side of the tart pan. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Serve slightly warm.
Some other baking ideas for Bastille Day:

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