Tomato and artichoke tart with walnut custard

Tomato artichoke walnut tart

Here at The Ordinary’s institute of culinary studies, we have an entire division devoted to the study of nut custards. It is completely staffed by squirrels, who are frantically busy this time of year. They are, in fact, so occupied with eating and burying the test subjects that they have not had an opportunity to report their findings. So many questions still remain. Viz: If a sweet baked almond custard is called frangipane, does that same word apply to a savory almond custard? How about a sweet hazelnut, pecan or walnut custard? How about a savory pecan, hazelnut or walnut custard? I know that I’ve discussed these issues before, and I’m in danger of becoming some sort of nut-custard fanatic, wandering the streets of town mumbling about nuts, but I need answers, dammit! It’s keeping me up nights! Not really, but I would like a better way to describe it. I’ve been experimenting lately with various types of nut custard in savory tart applications. For instance, we had a greens and pecan tart the other week. Some time back we had small chard and almond tarts. This being autumn, I decided to try one with walnuts. I made a sort of smoky, spicy, sharp sofrito of tomatoes and artichokes, and I added lemon zest to the walnut custard, to add a little brightness to the sweet earthiness of the nuts. A walnut custard is nice, soft underneath, slightly crispy on top. We need to come up with a new name for these new nut concoctions! We’ve created a committee, and we’d like report their findings, and to tell you the general consensus about the deliciousness of this tart, but the squirrels have taken all of their pieces to the tops of the trees, and won’t come back down to file their reports.

Here are the Squirrel Nut Zippers channelling Cab Calloway in The Ghost of Stephen Foster.

CRUST

1 cup flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 t thyme
1 t salt
black pepper
1 stick butter – frozen

Combine the flours, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Grate in the frozen butter, and mix with a fork till you have a coarse, crumb-like texture. Add just enough ice water to pull it together into a workable dough. (About 1/2 cup) Knead for about 1 minute, then wrap in foil and chill for at least half an hour.

THE FILLING

2 T olive oil
4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes peeled (dropped in boiling water for a minute…) seeded and chopped
1 cup artichoke hearts (I used canned in brine), chopped
1 shallot – minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 t rosemary chopped
1 t fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch cayenne
salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup toasted walnuts
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
zest of half a lemon

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, cook for about a minute, add the garlic, and before it starts to brown – in less than a minute, add the tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary. Cook, stirring frequently until they start to break up and soften – about ten or fifteen minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, a few tablespoons of water the cayenne and the smoked paprika, and continue to cook till you have a thick paste. You don’t want it to be too juicy or it will make the crust soggy. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly butter and flour a tart pan. Roll the dough to fit neatly into the tart pan, and trim the edges (you can use extra dough to make crackers.) Slash the bottom in one or two places. Bake the tart shell for about 10 minutes, till it just loses it’s shine. If it falls down, gently press it back up (but don’t burn your fingers!)

Spread the tomato/artichoke mixture in the tart shell. Spread the grated mozzarella evenly over that.

In a blender or food processor, combine the walnuts, milk, eggs, and lemon zest. Process until smooth. Pour this mixture evenly over the tomatoes and cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes, till the top is puffed and golden brown. Let cool for a minute or two before you serve.

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5 thoughts on “Tomato and artichoke tart with walnut custard

  1. This made me laugh out loud! Squirrels remind me of the Disney movie The Emperor’s New Groove. Squeak squeak, squeaker squeakum! The tart sounds amazing…

    • THANK YOU!!! Or better, MERCI’ !!!I’m pciking up my goodies tomorrow and will share some with a friend who often bakes for me. The scones will be saved for Sunday breakfast. What a treat!

  2. Thanks for an amazing psbiluh, can examine your particular others content. thank you your ideas for this, I felt a bit made an impact to by this short article. Merit again! You wanna make a good time. Has great report here. I believe that in case a greater number of people thought about it like that, they’d have a very better time frame receive the grasp ofing the issue.

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