Introduction: Balsamic Garlic and Goat's Cheese Tart
This is a delicious garlic tart that has the amazing flavors of carmelized garlic, reduced balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, and goat's cheese originally inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. Over time, this recipe has evolved to what you see below. It does take a while to cook, but if you're planning to have guests over, can be made ahead of time and enjoyed piping hot or at room temperature. Even if you're cooking for two, this dish has enough to give you wonderful leftovers.
Step 1: What You'll Need: Ingredients
13 oz puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup of water
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few sprigs for garnish
4 1/2 oz soft, creamy goat cheese
4 1/2 oz hard goat cheese (goat cheddar or goat gouda is okay)
6 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
6 1/2 tbsp creme fraiche
Step 2: What You'll Need: Cooking Utensils
1 sauce pan
1 mixing bowl
1 11-inch fluted tart pan
wax paper (not shown)
pie weights or dried beans (not shown)
Step 3: Preparing the Puff Pastry
If your puff pastry is frozen, allow it to properly thaw. While thawing, spray PAM or other cooking spray around the edges and bottom of your tart pan. Once pastry is thawed, roll it on top of the tart pan. You'll need to push it down in the corners and make sure it's hugging the edges of the tart pan. Trim excess if necessary.
Lay some wax paper on top of the puff pastry and also press this down to mold the puff pastry around the fluted tart pan. If you have pie weights, put on top of the wax paper. If you don't have pie weights, rice or dried beans work too. I've used dried cous cous in my Instructable.
Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, set your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Cooking the Pastry
Place the tart shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper, then bake for 5 to 10 more, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside and leave the oven on.
Step 5: Cooking the Garlic
While the tart shell is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small sauce pan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well.
Step 6: Fry the Garlic
After draining the garlic out of the saucepan, make sure the sauce pan is dry before adding the olive oil. Return the garlic to the sauce pan and fry on high heat for 2-4 minutes, until light brown.
Step 7: Add the Balsamic Vinegar
Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Add the Herbs
Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Continue simmering on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. For maximum flavor, continue to add the balsamic vinegar throughout this cooking process. The more the vinegar reduces, the better the flavor the tart will be. Set the sauce pan aside after mixture is dark and syrupy and the garlic is soft to the touch.
Step 9: Assembling the Tart
To assemble the tart, break both types of goat cheese into small pieces and scatter in the tart shell.
Step 10: Spooning the Garlic Into the Tart
Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese.
Step 11: Making the Filling
In the mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, creme fraiche, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some black pepper.
Step 12: Pouring the Filling
Pour the custard filling over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.
Step 13: Cooking the Tart
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place the tart inside. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. Use a toothpick to check the consistency of the filling. Cook until the filling has set and is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Take out of the pan, add a few sprigs of thyme for garnish.
Serve and enjoy!