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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Update 2 - Potato Tart

Update 2: Potato Tart

If you don't like potatoes, just stop reading. There is nothing of interest for you below this photo, because this week has been all about the delicious spud. My minority Irish heritage is shouting with pride.

Four Savory Potato Tarts


Potato / Mustard Seed / Gruyere

Requested by:

Caeli R via Facebook


Caeli's list of ingredients was really just a jumping-off point. I decided to try my hand at several potato-centric tarts, experimenting with both fillings and crusts. In the end, I came up with four unique versions:

i) Potato Tart with Tomato Jam
ii) Potato and Gruyere "Gratin" Galette
iii) Potato and Mustard Custard-Style Tart
iv) Yogurt, Lemon & Dill Potato Crostata

With so many creations this week, writing down the final recipes is still a work in progress. But you can always get that pate brisee dough made in advance (in fact, you need to let it rest before you use it!)

Four Potato Tart Slices

- The Recipes -

Pate Brisee (Flaky Pastry Dough):

A Pate Brisee is a flaky, butter laden dough that makes for a perfect crust in both sweet and savory dishes.

The ingredients are about as simple as they come: Flour, butter and water (and maybe a dash of salt and sugar, if you're feeling crazy). With hundreds of recipes floating around, you'll notice just slightly different ratios among those ingredients.

I've found this recipe, from my culinary school, to be the best in terms of taste and consistent results.

This recipe has been adapted from "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts" 

Yield: About 900g - enough dough for four 8"/9" tarts

Prep Time
  • Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Dough Chill Time: 30 minutes
  • Bake Time: Per individual recipe

  • Cake Flour - 500g (4 Cups) - Well Sifted
  • Butter: 250g (1.1 Cups / 2.2 Sticks) - Cold and cubed
  • Water: 125g (0.5 Cup) - Ice cold
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp

Check out a previous post with instructions on how to scale recipes based on ingredient proportions.


1. Combine the sifted flour with the sugar and salt. Place the flour on a clean, dry surface. Distribute the cold, cubed butter over the flour. "Sablage" the dough: using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the pieces of butter are pea-sized and the overall mixture has a coarse, sandy appearance. Work quickly, as you do not want the butter to melt.

Chef’s note: If the butter is too soft, the flour will absorb the water content and gluten bonds will begin to form. This will make for an undesirable final texture. Place the entire mixture into the refrigerator for 30 minutes before continuing if necessary.

2. Form a well with the butter and flour mixture. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the cold water into the center of the well. Using just your fingertips, gently mix some of the flour into the water until you form a loose ball (or more accurately, shaggy lump) of dough. Place the ball off to the side and continue until all of the dough has been formed. You may not need all of the water. It is better to use less water than more.

Chef’s note: When adding the water, the goal is to incorporate as little moisture as possible so that the flour can just hold together around the solid pieces of butter.

3. To finish the pate brisee, take walnut-sized pieces of dough and, using the palm of your hand, smear them along the work surface to create a homogeneous mix ("Fraisage"). Scrape all of the dough together into a ball. Portion the dough as necessary and wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.

Chef’s note: The refrigeration period serves several purposes. It allows the butter, which is likely soft at this point, to resolidify. It also gives the flour time to hydrate, more evenly distributing the moisture throughout the dough. And it gives the undesirable gluten bonds time to relax.

Potato Tart with Tomato Jam:

Mustard Potato Puree, Tomato Jam, Gouda & Fresh Basil

This tart begins with a blind-baked tart shell that is filled with shredded gouda cheese, tomato jam, fresh basil and then topped with a piped layer of mustard potato puree. The entire tart is then baked in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt. 

The acidity from the tomato jam is an excellent combination with the rich potato puree and melted gouda.

Baked Potato Tart with Tomato Jam

Potato and Gruyere "Gratin" Galette:

Baby Yellow Potatoes with Course-Ground Mustard and Gruyere Cheese

This is a free-form tart or galette - no ring mold necessary. The ingredients are arranged on top of a rolled circle of dough that has been formed to have a slightly raised rim. 

Loaded with potatoes and melted gruyere cheese, the final product is not dissimilar to what could be called a potato pizza.

Potato and Gruyere "Gratin" Galette

Potato and Mustard Custard-Style Tart:

Savory custard with mustard seed and diced Idaho potatoes

As a simple egg and potato custard set in a blind-baked shell, this is perhaps the most traditional tart among the four. With a large quantity of diced potatoes and cheese in the mix, it could be interpreted as a less-eggy quiche.

Potato and Mustard Custard-Style Tart

Yogurt, Lemon and Dill Potato Crostata:

Heirloom Potatoes with Greek Yogurt, Lemon, Dill, Honey, Golden Raisins, Cumin, and Turmeric

Based around amazingly vibrant heirloom potatoes, this free form tart or crostata packs just as strong a visual punch as it does in terms of flavor. 

The flavor profile is hard to beat: bright acidity from Greek Yogurt and Lemon, the freshness of dill, the sweetness of honey and golden raisins, and the warmth of cumin and turmeric.

The unbaked mixture is rather liquid, requiring the free form tart to be folded up and over the ingredients. But the high protein content of the Greek yogurt causes the mix to set into an intensely flavorful, custard-like final product.

Yogurt and Dill Potato Crostata


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