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Recipe courtesy of The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings


For the pastry
1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
8 ounces Cold Butter, unsalted, diced
1 ½ tbsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Kosher Salt
¼ tsp Black Pepper, ground
Soda Water

For the custard
3 Eggs
1 cup Heavy Cream
½ cup Aged Fontina
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. To make the pastry, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and pepper. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of fine bread crumbs. Add the soda water and mix well with a fork. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead briefly. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Butter a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Line the tart pan with the dough and trim the excess. Refrigerate the pastry shell for 30 minutes.

3. Line the tart pan with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes at 375º. Remove the foil and beans and bake until the pastry is set and starting to gently color.

4. To make the custard, whip the eggs and heavy cream until fully incorporated and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To the pastry shell, add your favorite mix-ins.  Be generous but leave room for the cheese and custard. During Spring, favas and fava leaves (julienned), english and snap peas (blanched), foraged mushrooms (sauteed with butter), green garlic and spring onions (diced and lightly sautéed), bacon (diced and rendered), baby artichokes and asparagus all make perfect sense. Be creative.

6. Add cheese to top your mix-ins and finish by filling ¾ of the way up the shell with the custard. Bake until custard is soft and just lightly jiggles. Let cool at room temperature, remove from tart pan, slice and serve with a fresh salad of arugula or fresh pea tendrils dressed in meyer lemon juice and olive oil.