Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Puff Pastry Tart with Gruyere, Bacon, Scallions & Herbs

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
Makes about 24 bite-sized squares
A Savory Tart    
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 egg yolks, divided
1/2 pound thickly-sliced bacon
3 bunches scallions
1 Tbl fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
1 Tbl parsley leaves
1 Tbl tarragon leaves
1 Tbl chervil leaves
1 Tbl sliced chives
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prep the tart shell: Allow the puff pastry to defrost in the refrigerator, for about 2 hours or so, until it can be unfolded easily without ripping. Unroll onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Score a 1/4-inch border with a paring knife along the edge of the pastry. Make an egg wash by mixing one yolk with 1/2 tsp water.  Brush this egg wash along the border, only using as much as you need. Place in the freezer until you are ready to use.

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. 
Slice the bacon cross-wise in 1/4-inch wide slices.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, then add the sliced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy.  Add the sliced scallions and the thyme and stir to combine.  Cook for about 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally.  Transfer the bacon-scallion mixture to a baking pan or plate, to cool. 
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, sour cream, olive oil, remaining egg yolk, and about a third of the grated gruyere.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix with a rubber spatula until smooth.  Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the puff pastry, keeping within the borderlines. 
Puff Pastuy with Ricotta Sauce & Gruyere Cheese      
Scatter the remaining grated gruyere, and then the bacon-scallion mixture, evenly over the tart.  Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, rotating the baking pan half-way through, for a total baking time of about 25 minutes.  Be sure to lift up the edge of the tart and take a peek at the bottom side, to make sure the crust is cooked through.  Remove from the oven, and transfer the tart to a cutting board.  Slice six by four, to get bit-sized pieces.  Sprinkle with the parsley, tarragon, chervil and chives, then season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Serve right on the cutting board, for a rustic presentation.