Goat Cheese and Bacon Tart
This recipe was originally created by Ryan Hardy, former chef at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., to use up the generous quantities of local goat cheese gifted to the restaurant in the spring and summer months. While the recipe below has been adapted for standard tart and pie pans, Hardy’s original version contains double the amount of filling, which is baked in a 10-inch deep-dish fluted tin, yielding a “thicker, creamier, more decadent final dish.”
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and frozen
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
- 16 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 ounces bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
- 2 ounces fresh chèvre, crumbled
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt using 4 1-second pulses. Sprinkle the frozen butter cubes over the top, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand, 8 to 12 additional 1-second pulses. Add the ice water, and process until large clumps form and no powder is left at the bottom of the food processor.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and roll out into an 11-inch circle. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart ring, fluting or trimming the edges. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 325°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the garlic until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until spinach is wilted and the liquid it releases has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat to cool. When spinach is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set it aside.
- Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, half-and-half, eggs, chives, Parmigiano Reggiano, remaining 1½ teaspoons salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Arrange the chopped spinach, bacon, and half of the goat cheese in the tart shell. Pour the cream mixture over the top. Dot the remaining goat cheese across the top of the tart. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Allow tart to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
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