Yotam Ottolenghi's Caramelized Garlic Tart has been on my list for years now and I've put it off because I didn't think I could source the Goat Gouda cheese it requires. I also put it off because it's fussier than most recipes I make, requiring the advance forethought to thaw puff pastry and use pie weights, etc. Plus, I wasn't sure if my family would like this one, and I was sure that I would, which means that I'd very likely be eating the whole thing myself.
So thanks to this week's theme, Procrastinator's Special, I had the push I needed to make the recipe. I didn't think I'd find the Goat Gouda cheese, but it turns out my market had it. Score! What I wasn't prepared for is my store to be completely out of garlic! WHAT?? Thankfully I got the last package of already peeled garlic and went ahead and used that, which turned out to be somewhat of a blessing since this recipe required 3 heads of peeled garlic!
Now I was dealing with the high cost of the recipe. Puff pastry, goat cheese, goat gouda, creme fraiche, fresh herbs, heavy cream, etc. You get the drift. This is a $30 tart. I don't usually cook recipes that costly, but every once in awhile it's nice to splurge.
Now we've come to the part that holds me back from a lot of recipes: the family isn't going to like it. Well, let me tell you something, EVERYONE LOVED THIS TART! It is seriously up there with some of the best recipes I've made on my blog!
You've probably seen this tart all over the place. It is, after all, one of Yotam Ottolenghi's signature recipes. Mostly, you've seen recipes of the tart with all it's caramelized garlic glory, but what you haven't seen is the inside of the tart, with all the creamy goat cheese. Holy cow, this tart is glorious, it's perfectly seasoned, and it needs nothing else. It is complete and total perfection! It's tangy, creamy, sweet, with the most lovely mild garlic flavor, herbaceous, crispy, buttery, and flaky. You won't believe how delicious it is. You'll find yourself going back for another slice and dreaming about a time when you can make it again.
This is hands down a MUST MAKE recipe. It's worth the trouble to source the ingredients, worth the time, worth the cost, and just plain worth the fuss. It is absolutely exquisite!
"I think this is the most delicious recipe in the world" - Yotam Ottolenghi's friend, Claudine, after testing it for his book Plenty
Caramelized Garlic Tart
Adapted from Plenty
by Yotam Ottolenghi
13 ounces puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish
4 -1/2 ounces soft, creamy goat cheese (such as chevre)
4-12 ounces hard, mature goat cheese (such as goat gouda)
6-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
6-1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Parchment paper, pie weights (or beans) for baking tart
Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed 11-inch fluted tart pan (I have a 9" tart pan and it worked just fine). Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the pan, plus be sure to have a little extra puff pastry hanging over the sides as it will shrink while baking. Line the pan with the pastry. Place a large circle of waxed paper on the bottom and fillup with pie weights or dried beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. 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 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 (I went ahead and added the garlic and the liquid to the top, after adding the egg mixture, in order to be sure the lovely caramelized bits of garlic were on top).
Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and place the tart inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes (mine cooked in less than 30 minutes), or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Then take out of the 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, or without.