The cold, quiet, dark winter is upon us in the Pacific Northwest, but with this delicious recipe from PLENTY by Yotam Ottolenghi the days are looking brighter by the minute.
Caramelized Garlic Tart
13 oz puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chopped rosemary (I used dried rosemary)
1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish (I used dried thyme)
4 1/2 oz soft, creamy goat cheese (such as chevre)
4 1/2 oz hard, mature goat cheese (such as goat gouda)
6 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
6 1/2 tbsp creme fraiche
Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed, 11-inch fluted tart pan. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sids of the pan, plus a little extra. Line the pan with the pastry. Place a large circle of waxed paper on the bottom and fill up with pie weights or dried beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tart shell in the oven and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper, then bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.
While the tart shell is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well. Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic cloves on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.
To assemble the tart, break both types of goat cheese into pieces and scatter in the tart shell. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese. In a jug, whisk together the eggs, cream, creme fraiche, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and place the tart inside. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. (I set the oven to broil for about five minutes to enhance the golden coloring.) Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Then take out of pan, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad.