Friday, July 20, 2012

tart with heart: rosemary crust filled with lemon coconut custard

not so long ago, i stumbled across a recipe for a tart with rosemary crust. good gravy, thought i, that sounds amazing. i could not get the idea out of my head.

pie crust: just out of oven, awaiting filling
i was waiting for the right moment to bake the pie. we had a small gathering of folks the other night, and it was the perfect occasion. the crust recipe follows, and the directions are on happyolks page:

1 1/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
lots of fresh rosemary, chopped
pinch of salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1-2 tablespoon ice water

one of our friends is lactose intolerant so i decided to use coconut milk for the custard base instead of milk or cream. i was going to make the custard totally vegan, but we have no agar agar (im going to look in the japanese market for kanten to see if i can find some), and i didnt want to try too grand of an experiment when we had company coming.

IMG_0661meanwhile, while the crust was baking, i combined one cup sugar with one cup boiling water to make a simple syrup. i sliced a lemon and put the pieces into the syrup and let it go to town. i never had the syrup at a roaring boil, but just simmering.  after about 40-ish minutes, i dropped the candied lemon slices onto a sheet of parchment on my drying rack.  after the tart was baked, these were used for decorative (and delicious) purposes.

for the custard i used:
a small box of coconut milk, which equals about a cup
3 eggs
juice and zest of one lemon
sugar to taste (i like lemony zing so i didnt use a whole lot--a little more than 1/4 cup?)
1 tbsp cornstarch

i made a cornstarch paste with a spoon full of water and wisked it into the coconut milk, followed by the sugar, lemon juice, and zest.

i baked the pie at 325°/160° until it set and was turning a gorgeous gold. we gave it a wiggle test at about 30 minutes in and let it hang out for a moment more.  we let it cool for a bit and then set out to make the tart pretty.

i put the cooled lemon slices on the tart and then i handed over the show. at laura's request, ryan went out to find some flowers (he came back with honeysuckle! as well as other pretty flowers), and she used flowers and rosemary sprigs.

she did a GORGEOUS job.  there was much oooooooohing and aaaaaaahing from our guests.  and the tart's taste was truly a delight.  all the flavours danced together marvelously.


but we werent only serving pie.  the guests all brought food to share, and we also contributed some other tasty treats.

IMG_0664using a technique i learned in china, i chopped some chanterelles with some chives, stuffed squash blossoms, and steamed the whole lot.

christian made chocolate mousse

laura made cod with lemon and coriander.

and i made another batch of pretzels.

we crowded onto the balcony and shared belgian beers and ate to our heart's content until the rain sent us inside.

and while everything was good, i just keep thinking about that tart.   the herb in the crust worked so well that i'm fantasizing about future flavour combinations.  i want to give it another go but use honey greek yogurt and peaches or nectarines.  and i want to try some savoury blends as well.

1 comment: