Us here in the Southern Hemisphere are in winter.
And as depressing as the cold weather may be, there are some things that make the bitter days more tolerable.
Things such as- brussels sprouts, SPINACH, artichokes, and mandarins!
The past few weeks I’ve been spinach obsessed and a total maniac in the kitchen testing out new recipes for my next culinary venture.
I decided to take one of my new creations to a pot luck dinner party to see how others would react to my seasonal recipe.
Overall opinion, knocked it out the park!
I present to you the winter tart.
She’s stuffed with caramelized onion, garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, and parmesan cheese. A couple of eggs are used to bind her together guaranteeing each bite to be as balanced as the last.
The classic French dough, Pate Brisee, makes for the perfect crust and is easy to handle for us non-pastry folks.
PATE BRISEE 8” ::
- 200g AP flour
- 5g salt
- 100g very cold butter, small diced
- 60mL very cold water OR 1 egg + 10mL very cold water
We’ll start with the pate brisee since it requires blind baking. Blind baking is when you cook the crust first, without the filling. You want to work FAST so the butter doesn’t melt which will develop gluten. Make sure you read the full recipe before you begin, set up your station, grease your tin and have the oven pre-heated to 400°F or 200°C.
Sift flour and salt together. Using a pastry cutter, hands, or fork sabler the flour and butter quickly. Sabler meaning, cut the butter into the flour til sandy.
Add the water or water/egg mix. Combine without overworking. If you’re feeling fancy you can fraisage the dough. That means you take walnut size pieces and smear the dough on the countertop with your palm.
Form into a disk, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured countertop til 1/4 inch thick. Gently place the dough in a greased pie ring and using your fingertips carefully secure to fit the frame. Cut a piece of wax paper the size of the mold and place over dough. Weigh the paper down with dried beans or rice and place in oven for 10-12 minutes til chalky white. Carefully remove weights and paper and bake for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven.
Congratulations, you have just blind baked!
WINTER TART ::
- 4 bunches of spinach, rinsed & chopped
- 250g artichoke hearts, minced
- 3 onion, sliced
- 1 TBS butter
- 1/2 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated
- smoked paprika
- 2 eggs
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
In a saute pan or cast iron over medium low heat add one tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Shake til combined and add onion. Add a dash of salt and cook for 20-30 minutes til well caramelized. Remove onion from pan and return to heat with a dash of olive oil. Toss in garlic and slowly cook for 3-4 minutes. Add spinach and cook til wilted, 1-2 minutes. Place spinach in a strainer and lightly press down to remove excess water. Combine spinach with onion and add artichoke hearts, parmesan, juice of half a lemon, pinch of paprika and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add to mix.
Pour spinach mix into baked pie shell. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F or 175°C and bake for 20 minutes til firm. Eat warm or at room temp.