Search This Blog

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gruyere Tart - a Gutsy Cooks Selection

The Gutsy Cooks are an ambitious crew. They generally include two or three different recipes for their weekly choice, and I, less ambitious, generally choose only one. In part, it's because this is more food than I can eat: this week's menu included not only the gruyere tart, but also an orange and carrot soup and an arugula salad with shaved Parmesan. I might eat a three-course meal like this at a restaurant, but not in my own home. This might lead you to believe that the real reason I don't make all three choices is because I'm lazy. You're probably right.
At any rate, the pairing of the orange/carrot soup with the tart gave me a brilliant idea: I'd make Dorie Greenspan's spiced, glazed carrots as a side dish, and then I'd have two blog posts done with one meal.

This tart is not difficult to make, even though (not surprisingly), it requires the making of tart dough. As usual, the instructions in this cookbook are minimal--this wouldn't be the way you'd want to make your first pie crust--but it turned out to be a good, easy-to-make crust. I liked the addition of thyme in this savory pie crust. (I don't like the fact that the book never includes salt in recipes for pastry? What's up with that?)

Still, not only was the dough easy to roll out, it also fit neatly into the tart pan with no tears or bare spots, so perhaps there's a method in the minimal-instruction madness.

Love these pie weights! I used to weight the crust down with beans or rice, all of which had to be thrown away after one use. I can use these over and over again. They do make a terrible rattle-y noise when they fall on the floor.

There's plenty of time to whip up the filling while the crust is pre-baking. The $10-a-pound gruyere must be grated. It's less expensive than the tenderloin roast I made a few weeks ago.

Thinly slice an onion and slowly saute over low heat. After about 15 minutes, add a bit of sugar; that helps caramelize the onion. And grate nutmeg on top of the onions.

The instructions tells you to mix half of the grated cheese with the onions, and then scatter the remaining cheese on top of the onion. I did it, but I saw no point to this step, and still don't see one. I don't see why you'd end up with a noticeably better result than if you simply put the onions at the bottom of the tart and the grated cheese on top of the onions. Or vice versa. Or mix them all together. You end up eating them all in one bite anyway.

The onions and cheese are covered with a mixture of eggs, half and half, a little Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Then it's baked.
It's supposed to cool for 10 minutes before serving, but my carrots were already done, so I cut into it, expecting a runny, gooey mess. It held its shape, though, and ended up looking attractive, as well as tasting good.
More on the carrots on Friday.


Jim: "8 and one-half. We've had a series of winners from The Bad Cookbook. I guess I really am going to have to stop calling it that."
Marie: "8 and one-half too. This must be why we've been married so long."


  1. You and Jim crack me up! I like the crust too, and like I was like, where is the salt? I totally took matter unto my own hands and used not only salt, but cracked pepper AND cheese on the tart!

    We loved the tart as well... I need to totally get with the program and work on my FFwD posts. And those carrots look good!

  2. Monica,
    In fairness, it would be hard to put together a book this big without some editing glitches. But you never want to forget the salt!