Special of the Day~ The Art of the Tart

Almond Pear Tart

01 Mar Special of the Day~ The Art of the Tart

Sydne George Special of the DayOur unseasonably warm weather of late has me yearning for spring and dreaming up fresh fabulous recipe ideas. This week’s Special of the Day is serving up one simple straightforward tart recipe you can modify to make sweet or savory and adorn with your personal picks from the produce department.

Using the food processor to whip up the tender nutty crust and creamy mascarpone filling gives you a beautiful blank canvas upon which to build your culinary creation.

The sweet tart would be wonderful with mixed berries or thinly sliced strawberries instead of pears, and the savory recipe could showcase colorful heirloom tomatoes appearing in the market now (instead of blanched asparagus), but really the sky is the limit on what you could dream up to top your tarts with.

Plan to blanch firmer vegetables (like pea pods or rainbow carrot slices) briefly in salted simmering water before topping your tart with them so they are an ideal tender-crisp texture. Brushing your assembled tart with the lemon butter glaze will give it a shiny brightness, but plan to serve your creation within an hour or two of putting it together.

Serve slices of the savory tart with lightly dressed greens for a simple supper or present pieces of the sweet tart with a cup of coffee for dessert.

Unleash your inner artist and have fun creating with this week’s Special of the Day~ The Art of the Tart and recipes for Almond Pear Tart and Parmesan Asparagus Tart. Happy tart-making!

Almond Pear Tart

Almond Pear Tart

Almond Pear Tart

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes one 13 ¾” x 4 ½ inch tart)

Make the crust:

(can be made ahead of time)

¼ cup almonds

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1 ½ cups flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. almond extract

¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grind almonds in food processor until fine.

Add remaining crust ingredients and process until dough comes together.

Press dough into greased tart pan with removable bottom.

Bake crust for 15 minutes, until golden on the edges.

Cool on a cooling rack.

Make the filling:

8 ounce mascarpone cheese (Albertsons deli cheese case)

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tbsp. heavy cream

Combine all filling ingredients and process in food processor until smooth.

Spread filling over cooled crust.

Make the glaze:

1 tsp. butter

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat butter and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted.

Remove from heat.

1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced

Assemble the tart:

Layer pear slices over the filling.

Brush with lemon butter glaze.

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Carefully remove outer ring from tart pan and transfer tart to cutting board.

Cut tart into slices and serve.

Enjoy!

Parmesan Asparagus Tart

Parmesan Asparagus Tart

Parmesan Asparagus Tart

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes one 13 ¾” x 4 ½ inch tart)

Make the crust:

(can be made ahead of time)

¼ cup walnuts

½ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups flour

1 egg yolk

¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grind almonds in food processor until fine.

Add remaining crust ingredients and process until dough comes together.

Press dough into greased tart pan with removable bottom.

Bake crust for 15 minutes, until golden on the edges.

Cool on a cooling rack.

Make the filling:

8 ounce mascarpone cheese (Albertsons deli cheese case)

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. salt

1 tbsp. heavy cream

Combine all filling ingredients and process in food processor until smooth.

Spread filling over cooled crust.

Make the glaze:

1 tsp. butter

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat butter and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted.

Remove from heat.

1 bunch fresh asparagus, tips only

Cook asparagus in salted simmering water for 5 minutes, then immediately transfer to strainer and cover with ice to stop the cooking.

Assemble the tart:

Arrange blanched asparagus over the filling.

Brush with lemon butter glaze.

Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

Carefully remove outer ring from tart pan and transfer tart to cutting board.

Cut tart into slices and serve.

Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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