Introduction: THE TART AND THE QUICHE
I like to use as much organic products as possible
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 sticks of chilled butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of ice water
the egg mixture:
6-8 brown free range eggs
a pint of heavy creme
salt, pepper, parsley
1/4 lb. of Romano cheese
2 heirloom tomatoes
2 onions ( sauté in olive oil until slightly brown)
1 small fresh mozzarella
a small amount of fresh basil leaves
In a mixer...place the butter along with the two tablespoons of sugar and blend until this resembles coarse meal, add the salt and flour, then mix until all ingredients are incorporated, add in the water... just a little at a time until it starts to form a ball...do not over mix, as this will result in a tough and difficult dough to roll out. If the dough is sticky, then either the butter was not chilled enough or you over mixed it...a good option at this point is to place the balls in a storage bag and refrigerate for an hour or so. Roll out the dough on a cold and well floured surface preferably stone or stainless steel, make sure that both the countertop and rolling pin are completely covered with flour, as a dry patch will make the dough stick and tear it apart...putting the tart together with pieces is not a pretty picture...work from the center and flip the dough over to keep it from sticking to the surface. Once it's rolled out, place one end of the rolling pin at the outside edge of the dough and roll backwards onto the pin and place directly over the fluted pie pan and drop the edge of the dough at the outside of the pan and un-roll until in place, move quickly before the sharp fluted edges of the pan cuts your dough. I like to leave my edges high and unstructured but you can carefully trim the edges to give them an appearance of uniformity... When making small 4" individual tarts, pre-baking is not required but with a typical 9" tart shell it is a good practice to pre bake for 12 minutes with a sheet of parchment paper and ceramic weights @ 350 degrees.
the egg mixture:
Whip the pint of heavy creme for three to four minutes on high speed or until it thickens, then add the eggs, salt, pepper and parsley. Beat this until fully incorporated and slightly thick.
Place the sauté onions on the bottom of the shell, fill with the egg mixture about halfway, then evenly spread the sliced tomatoes in a circular pattern along with pieces of fresh basil and then finish with the sliced fresh mozzarella and coarsely grated Romano cheese .
Bake these tarts @ 375 for approximately 25-30 minutes for the 4" tart and 40-55 minutes for the 9' tart.