Doubly Sweet Corn Tarte
Makes one 10" diameter tarte or four 4" tartes
Serves 4, 6 (depending on the size of each slice)
This recipe uses a large quantity of corn. Try it when corn is abundant, fresh and cheap.
The technique is a bit unusual and was inspired by a similar dish developed at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco. Raw corn kernels are cut off the cob and put through a juicer to extract the "corn milk", which is then cooked to a thick custard. This custard is combined with fresh whole corn kernels as the filling for a tarte.
|Juicing the corn kernels is admittedly time-consuming and messy, but
definitely worth the effort. We call this "Doubly Sweet Corn Tarte"
because the "corn milk" combined with fresh whole corn kernels produces an
intensely flavored, sweet and succulent tarte that will overwhelm family and friends.
The tarte can be simply garnished with fresh cherry tomatoes or it can be dressed up with a spoonful of seasoned lobster, crab meat or shrimp.
Make 4" tartes for individual servings.
More work, but also more dramatic.
Cornmeal Pastry Crust:
1 ¾ cups unbleached flour
½ cups fine-grit corn meal
¼ cup Crisco
½ cup chilled, unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
6 TBS ice cold water
Cut the chilled butter and Crisco into ¼" cubes.
Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a mixer or with the back of a fork until crumbly. (Do not overwork the dough. Mix it just enough to incorporate the butter and Crisco into the flour.)
Gradually add the water and mix only until the water has been absorbed evenly. (IMPORTANT: Do not overmix at this stage. If you do, the gluten in the flour will become elastic and your tarte shell will be about the same texture as cardboard.)
Form the dough into a round flat disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to let the dough rest.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Roll out 2/3 of the dough for a 10" tarte and fit it into a French-style tarte ring (i.e. with fluted straight sides and a removable bottom). (Keep the remainder for another tarte. This dough freezes very well and can be used by simply defrosting and rolling out.)
Gently mold a sheet of aluminum foil over the unbaked shell, easing the foil onto the bottom and up the sides of the entire shell. Fill the unbaked, foil-covered tarte shell with heavy beans or marbles. (This keeps the sides upright until they are baked enough to stand up on their own.)
Bake the shell in this way for about 10 minutes, then remove the foil (with weighting beans). Prick the bottom with a fork in several places (to allow air to escape from the underside) and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the shell is a nice golden brown.
Remove from the oven. Remove the outer ring and cool.
Serving: The tarte can be served directly from the oven or at room
temperature. Garnish with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half (lengthwise)
and lightly seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and finely chopped thyme or dill. If
you are using lobster or crab meat, dress it in the same way and put a spoonful over each
slice. For a double treat, try serving this tarte alongside the Roasted Roma Tomato Tarte. Notes:
The tarte can be served directly from the oven or at room temperature.
Garnish with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half (lengthwise) and lightly seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and finely chopped thyme or dill. If you are using lobster or crab meat, dress it in the same way and put a spoonful over each slice.
For a double treat, try serving this tarte alongside the Roasted Roma Tomato Tarte.