Rustic Tart Recipe

To paraphrase the words of Geoffrey Rush in Pirates of the Caribbean, what follows is not so much a set of recipes as some guidelines.

Though I am a devoted Cook’s Illustrated reader, with their obsession with testing and precision, I read the magazine as more of a study guide than a set of absolutes. (Don’t get me wrong–their methods are rock solid, especially for baked goods. Those peanut butter cookies–legendary.)

But I digress. Today we’re here to talk about that most useful instrument of concealment, the pie crust. The good people of CI have developed a supposedly fool-proof version that involves vodka, but I will confess to not trying it yet. Pie crust is one area where I do punt–trans fats and all, I buy them in the dairy section of the grocery store. Once you have them, you can transform so-so soup into pure pie-a-liciousness. Or you can save yourself even more trouble and make a rustic tart.

How to Make a Rustic Tart

Prep filling. Place in center of pie crust, which is on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Fold. Brush with egg wash (1 egg scrambled with a bit of water), bake at 415 for 35-40 minutes. Pat self on back.

Filling ideas: sauteed winter squash with thyme, shallots, spinach, and goat cheese; yellow squash or zucchini with goat cheese and diced roasted red pepper; spinach, garlic, feta, grating of nutmeg; slices of leftover baked or mashed potato with broccoli and cheddar; steamed sweet potato slices, bacon, and kale strips.

And for my friend, whom I shall call iCook, here is the how-to in picture form.

Butternut Squash and Shallots

Slice the butternut squash fairly thin and dice the shallots.

Rustic Tart

Place filling in the middle, sprinkle with goat cheese, fold artistically. Brush with egg wash.

Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Tart

Low effort, high impact! The completed Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Tart

Bonus: How to Make Soup Pie

Start with a thick meat, vegetable (like winter squash or potato), or chicken soup or chili. It should be in a state of congealment when in the fridge. I’ve never attempted this with a cream based soup, like broccoli–if you try with something thin, you’ll probably want to thicken it in one of these ways:

  • mashed potatoes (or the fake flakes in a pinch)
  • mashed sweet potatoes or squash
  • roux: equal parts butter and flour, cooked and well blended before soup is added

While you’re working out your filling’s consistency, place one pie crust into a pie pan, prick several times with a fork, and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. (Check the package directions if you need more details.) Take the par-baked crust out, lower the oven temp to 400 degrees, and add the soup-turned-pie-filling, being careful not to overfill.

Top the pie with the second crust, crimp the sides, cut some slits, place on a baking sheet or pizza pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the insides are more firm than wiggly. Serve with a salad, fruit, or some crudite, and tell no one what you did with the soup from the day before.

Coming up next, Tool Talk. A few things every Practical Cook should consider owning.

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11 Comments

Filed under On the Table, Recipes

11 responses to “Rustic Tart Recipe

  1. Kristen

    Yum! those tarts look super yummy! I’ll have to plan this one for next week.

  2. Heather

    Looks amazing – and another vehicle for goat cheese!

    • The Practical Cook

      Good goat cheese lifts root veggies out of the dirt and onto a pedestal. Just thinking that I’ll have to create a mushroom-centric version of this for you.

  3. "Blended Familia"

    This looks fabulous!! I’m going to try it as one of our meals next week–will let you know how it goes!

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  6. “Rustic tart” still makes me giggle and think of Chaucer. But it does sound delish — need to remember this when we get b’nut squash in our fall produce boxes.

    • The Practical Cook

      Love the Chaucer reference. Makes it seem more dignified (and English Majory). I just made this last night using Russet potatoes, Swiss chard, and green garlic, sauteed in bacon grease and sprinkled with Parmesan. Will blog details soon.

      No need to wait for fall–if you’ve got a pie crust and some veggies, this will work in any season!

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