The most recent recipe I made for the Modern Baker Challenge was a little different from some of the other recipes in the savory tarts and pies section. For one thing, this is the first recipe in this section that uses an olive oil crust, rather than the rich dough or no-roll flaky crust called for by many of the other recipes. This is also the first recipe in which the eggs are added directly to the tart without being mixed with milk or cream, making this tart more like a frittata.
I began by roasting red and yellow bell peppers in the oven. I set the oven rack on the second level, preheated the broiler, then put the whole peppers on the rack so the top sides were just an inch or two from the heating unit. I watched the peppers, and as they began to char, I turned them so that each side got well roasted. I put the peppers in a bowl, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside until the peppers were cool enough to handle. This allowed the peppers to steam, so that the skins would peel off easily.
Once the peppers had cooled, I peeled, seeded, and stemmed them in a colander. As I worked with them, the peppers fell apart in chunks, which I put into a separate bowl. I was careful to scrape off all of the seeds, but I didn’t rinse the peppers under water, as that would have washed away much of the roast flavor. Once the peppers were cleaned and torn into chunks, I layered them in a bowl with salt, olive oil, and thinly sliced garlic.
Then I covered the bowl with plastic and put the peppers the refrigerator to marinate for about 24 hours.
The next day, I rolled out my olive oil crust, which had also been in the fridge since the previous day, and fit it into two mini-tart pans.
To fill the tarts, I simply layered goat cheese and roasted peppers in the pan, then poured in eggs that had been whipped with salt, pepper, and parsley.
I baked the tarts at 375°F for 23 minutes, until the filling was set and the crust baked through. I cooled the tarts for about 10 minutes, then removed them from the pans and finished cooling them.
As you can see from these pictures, the two tarts cames out looking quite different from each other. When I layered the tarts, I had to make some adjustments since I was using mini-tart pans. The recipe called for two layers each of goat cheese and peppers, beginning with the cheese and ending with peppers. Because the mini pans are more shallow than an 11-inch tart pan, it was difficult to fit in the four layers and still have room for the egg mixture.
For the tart on the left in the pictures above, I did three layers, beginning and ending with cheese, which meant I was able to add a decent amount of eggs. The tart on the right had four layers of goat cheese and peppers and just enough of the egg mixture to hold it together.
They were both quite tasty, although I preferred the one with more peppers. Roasted peppers and goat cheese are a classic combination, with the smokiness of the peppers pairing well with the creamy goodness of the cheese. This recipe pairs those flavors beautifully, and the result is a delicious tart that is perfect for a light lunch or an appetizer before a light supper.
If I make this recipe as mini-tarts again, I will probably do three layers, beginning and ending with peppers. That way, there would be plenty of egg mixture to bind it together, and lots of roasted pepper flavor.