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Caramelized Garlic Tart {National Garlic Day}

Caramelized Garlic Tart (National Garlic Day 2013) |
My top three holidays: Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and National Garlic Day.  For real.   My kids even know when National Garlic Day is, because it's the first thing I write on my brand-spanking new calendar every year.  Okay, maybe it's not the first thing.  But that's only because I start in January and write things  "in order".  So, it's more like the fifth or sixth thing I write.  But it's there.

I spend a good portion of the year trying to decide what "THE" dish for that year will be.  I make plenty of garlicky things on a regular basis, but I'm always looking for something a little special for the day.  Just like I do for any other holiday.  I'm a little disappointed, because I semi-promised myself that this would be the year that I made garlic ice cream.  I think I may have even told you that last year.

Here we sit.  Ice Cream-less.  I guess I'm just going to have to make it as a treat for a non-holiday, because I absolutely cannot wait a whole 'nother year to make some.  The sad part is, I have several recipes patiently hanging out...waiting for me to try them.
Caramelized Garlic Tart (National Garlic Day 2013) |
But really, the lack of ice cream today has to be forgiven.  And (mostly) forgotten.  Because the tart you see here?  It deserves all of your attention.  It is a thing of glory (really, I'd sing songs about it).  There are three heads of garlic in there.  Three soft, caramelized, seductive heads of garlic.  There's also herbs.  And there's cheese.  Beautifully tangy goat cheese and creamy, nutty gouda.  I am enamored of it.

Ice cream, shmice cream.

Caramelized Garlic Tart
Caramelized Garlic Tart (National Garlic Day) |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes (total)
Keywords: bake entree vegetarian nut-free garlic cheese herbs

Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 1 sheet (half of a 17.3 oz. box) puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c. water
  • slightly heaping 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • sea salt
  • 4 oz. chèvre (soft goat cheese)
  • 4 oz. gouda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. + 2 1/2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 c. + 2 1/2 tsp. crème fraîche
  • freshly ground black pepper
Set a 9.5-inch tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet.

Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom of the pan and hang over by about 1/2-inch or so. Line the pan with the pastry. Prick the bottom a few times with the tines of a fork. Line the pastry with a circle of parchment, foil, or wax paper and fill it with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Set in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Slide the baking tray with the tart shell on it into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Lift out the liner and the weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry turns a light, golden color. Leave the oven on.

You can start this part as soon as the pastry goes into the fridge, and continue on once it goes into the oven. Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and cover with water by at least an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Drain and wipe the pan dry. Add the olive oil to the pan along with the blanched garlic over high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Balsamic and the water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, chopped rosemary and thyme, and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Continue to simmer at a quick bubble until the most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a caramely syrup, 10-15 minutes.

Crumble both cheeses (or you can shred the harder cheese, if you like) into the pastry shell. Spoon the garlic and its syrupy liquid over the cheese. Whisk the remaining ingredients together (with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper), and pour over and around the cheese and garlic, allowing the garlic and cheese to still show over the surface. You will use most of the filling, but may have a tablespoon or so that will not fit - no biggie, don't overfill the shell.

Slide into the oven, close the door, and lower the heat to 325° F. Bake for ~45 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top has started to turn golden in spots. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a bit, so that you can comfortably pick it up. Once you are able to handle it, lift the bottom from the ring and then use a long, flat spreader (or something like it) to slide the tart onto a serving plate. Garnish with a couple of fresh sprigs of thyme, if you like.

Serve warm or a room temperature. Store completely cooled tart in the fridge, wrapped tightly; reheat in a low oven until warmed through.

If you don't have any crème fraîche, you can make a decent substitute by whisking about 1 1/2 teaspoons of buttermilk into 5 teaspoons of sour cream. I'm not saying it's an exact replica - but it works for me.

adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
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Caramelized Garlic Tart (National Garlic Day 2013) |
Want more recipes featuring garlic? Here's a few I've posted in the past:
And since one can never have too much garlic, here are some more GARLICKY GOOD recipes from a few of my friends:
Caramelized Garlic Tart (National Garlic Day 2013) |
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