Archive for May 20, 2009

Dairy Recipe: Strawberry Tarte

Submitted for our Dairy Recipe Contest by R. Urist

Making The Shell

Make a rich pastry crust. Here, more or less, are the ingredients. (I say more or less, because sometimes I use the yolk, sometimes not.)

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup butter

the grated zest (outer rind) of half a lemon

Mix above ingredients in a cuisinart. Then add enough cold water to hold the mixture together. Try a few drops at a time. Chill the dough, then roll it out as thinly as possible, and line a tart pan with it.

Smooth tin foil over the dough. Fill with rice (or beans, or lentils, or whatever you like) to weigh down the dough, and bake in a hot oven (425) for about fifteen minutes, or until the tart shell is delicately browned. (Usually you need to uncover the dough after 10 – 15 minutes, and cook it uncovered for a couple of minutes – no more – till the dough is golden.

Making the Filling

In a saucepan beat two egg yolks and three tablespoons each of sugar and flour until the mixture is light and fluffy. Soften two teaspoons kosher gelatin in 1 tablespoon of cold water and dissolve it in 3/4 cup hot milk. Add the milk to the egg mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the cream is hot and thick, but be careful not to let it boil. Stir the cream over cracked ice to cool it quickly. Once cooled, fold in two stiffly beaten egg whites, ½ cup whipped, heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons liquer. (I like using Grand Marnier.) Turn the pastry cream into the baked tart shell. Chill. Once it’s completely set, arrange large, ripe strawberries on top. ( I like to cut the strawberries in half and place them cut side down in concentric circles on the cream.) Glaze the strawberries with three tablespoons red current jelly, melted and thinned with 1 tablespoon boiling water.


1. This is delicious with kiwi instead of strawberries. Or, make telescoping, concentric circles of strawberries and kiwi. It’s pretty. I like to glaze the fruit with melted, pureed apricot jam. Mmmm.

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Dairy Recipe: Tomato and Onion Tart

Submitted for our Dairy Recipe Contest by S. Urist


2 large onions (about 1½ pounds), sliced thin

2 tablespoons olive oil

butter pastry dough for a single crust 12 inch tart (recipe follows)

½ pound dry Jack or Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

½ pound plum tomatoes cut into ½ inch wedges

½ pound medium yellow tomatoes (about 2) or ½ pound plum tomatoes, cut into ½ inch wedges

¼ cup Niçoise olives, pitted

In a large, heavy skillet cook onions with salt to taste in oil, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid evaporates. Remove skillet from heat to cool onions slightly.

Preheat oven to 370 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll dough into a 14 inch round (about 1/8 thick). Fold round in half and transfer to a 12-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim or a 12 inch quiche dish. Unfold dough, easing to fit, and trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold overhang toward center and press against side of pan or dish. Spread onion mixture over dough and top with cheese. Arrange tomato wedges and olives in concentric circles over cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake tart in middle of oven 1 hour, or until pastry is golden, and cool on a rack. Remove rim of pan if necessary.

Serve tart warm or at room temperature. Serves 12 to 16 as part of buffet.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

6 to 7 tablespoons ice water.

Throw first three ingredients into food processor and mix. While mixing, add water slowly, till ingredients form a ball of dough. (It might not all adhere in a single ball; don’t overdo it, or you’ll break your machine.) Wrap dough in slastic wrap and chill 1 hour. Pastry dough may be made 1 week ahead and chilled. Makes enough dough for a single crust 12 inch tart.


1. I find that this pastry dough recipe always makes enough for more than one 12 inch tart.

2. If you cover roll out the dough with a layer of plastic wrap between the dough and the rolling pin, nothing sticks, and the whole thing makes the expression “easy as pie” meaningful. (Other wise “easy as pie” is a cruelly sadistic culinary seduction to all young brides. Pie crusts can be frustrating and difficult!!)
3. You can mix and match the cheeses. No need to stick with these stipulations. A mixture of Gruyere and Jack or Mozzarella is also good.

4. Various kinds of olives work with this. I like pungent black (Greek) olives on this tart, even though I’m not so fond of them plain.

5. This tart comes out better if the shell is baked first, separately, before filling it. That way, the shell stays wonderfully crisp and yummy. To bake an unfilled tart shell, roll out the dough, lay it out in the tart pan, then line dough with tin foil, then fill the foil covering with weights (no need for real weights; a bag of beans will do, and you can save these beans and use them over and over again as weights for future tart shells), then bake at 425 for ten minutes. Then, remove the weights and the foil carefully, and bake the uncovered shell another 3 to 5 minutes, till dry and golden. Don’t let it burn!!

(Do you wonder about the weights? Here’s why you need them. If the dough gets cooked unweighted, it’ll bubble up, and you lose your tart shape. You’ll end up with a roller-coaster shaped piece of useless pastry.)

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Dairy Recipe: Wild Mushroom Lasagna

Submitted for our Dairy Recipe Contest, by R. Urist.



2 lbs fresh mushrooms
1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, including morels
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parsley
2 sprigs thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
3 tablesploons olive oil
2 containers ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk powder
4 teaspoons dried boullion
3 cups water
3/4 cup parmesan cheese.
1pound fresh lasagne noodles.

For Mushroom Filling

Soak dry mushrooms (for about 1/2 hour) in enough hot water to cover. Sautee garlic first, then two pounds sliced mushrooms in olive oil. Drain soaked mushrooms (reserve the liquid), chop in food processor. Add 1/2 the sauteed mushrooms to processor, and chop those, too. Add chopped mixture to the sauteed mushrooms, add 1/2 cup chopped parsley and some thyme, and set aside.

For Sauce

In blender: 1 cup dry milk powder, 4 hefty teaspoons dry boullion (Carmel Kosher pareve chicken soup mix), a pinch of nutmeg, 6 tablespoons butter, 6 tablespoons flour, the mushroom soaking liquid (along with any remaining liquid left by sauteed mushrooms) plus hot water to measure three cups. Pour into saucepan and thicken over heat.

Cheese Filling

In processor: 2 containers ricotta*, 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, 1/2 cup grated parmesan. After processing, add 1/2 cup sauce.

Use one pound fresh lasagne noodles or a packaged equivalent — enough for one large lasagne dish.


Butter baking dish. Place a layer of pasta, then sauce, then mushrooms, then sauce. Keep layering, ending with sauce. Sprinkle a thick layer of parmesan over top. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes

Serves 10 – 12 people for a large dinner portion each, or 16 smaller pieces.

*Note: the recipe from which this is adapted uses only one cup ricotta in all.

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