Heirloom Carrot and Cumin Tart

My carrot tart recipe is from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook. I’ve wanted to try this recipe since I saw the picture in their ‘Vegetable’ book. This week my Betty’s Organics box had 2 bunches of beautiful heirloom carrots and I thought the time has come to make a carrot tart. I followed the recipe except for the addition of more toasted cumin seeds. The tart needed more time in the oven then the original recipe indicated and I probably should have left it in a few minutes longer( the filling could have set up more, but the pastry was perfect!) but I had a time crunch as I was bringing it to a dinner.

1 recipe Tart Pastry, partially blind baked(recipe follows)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 scallions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups, thinly sliced, peeled carrots
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 & 1/2 cups(6 oz) shredded Gruyére cheese

1. Prepare the pastry crust.

Tart pastry

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 tablespoons ice water

In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers until the mixture is light and has the consistency of coarse crumbs.

Slowly begin adding the ice water, stirring and tossing with a fork until the dough just holds together. Using your hands, gently form the dough into a ball.

Then flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Roll out the pastry sandwiched between sheets of wax paper into a 14″ round. Peel the wax paper off the tart dough and transfer the pastry into a 9″ tart pan with 2″ sides. Ease the dough into the pan and trim the edges. At this point I like to put the tart dough back in the refrigerator and let it chill while the oven preheats.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Blind bake the pastry crust. Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment, weigh it down with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for 10 minutes longer. The crust will set and color slightly. Place it on a rack to cool before filling.

3. To make the filling, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to foam add the scallions and sauté until wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

4. In a saucepan with boiling water, add the sugar and salt to taste, parboil the carrots until half cooked, about 1-2 minutes. Drain and add to the scallions along with the cumin seeds.

5. In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolk, cream, whole milk, nutmeg, salt(about 1/2 teaspoon) and a few grinds of black pepper.

6. Set the oven to 375°. Put a sheet pan under the tart shell to catch any drips.
Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Mound up the carrot mixture in the tart shell and pour the cream mixture over the top, filling the tart pan almost to the rim. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

7. Bake until the top is golden brown and the filling is set, 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10-15 minutes. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, take off the ring and slide onto a serving plate.

I took these pictures at my daughter Jenny’s house after I removed the tart pan ring and cut a slice before serving. Everybody loved it but were not exactly sure what kind of root vegetables they were eating, especially the white carrots were confusing, might be parsnips or turnips!

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