Flemish Vegetable Tart

By on January 2, 2015

Flemish Vegetable Tart
Makes/serves     8 servings
Prep Time     50 mins
Difficulty     Complex

    Main course

Flemish Vegetable Tart
About the Recipe

A quick brioche dough makes a sumptuous crust for this unusual vegetable tart, which is a hearty alternative to pizza. You can cook the tart in a frying pan, if you like, for a rustic effect. Don’t worry about making brioche: this version is very easy, and can be made the day ahead and refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, overnight.


    For the dough
    1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
    1 1/2 cup bread flour
    1 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    9 tbsp unsalted butter
    For the filling
    18 oz mushrooms
    4 carrots
    2 turnips
    6 tbsp unsalted butter
    8–10 scallions, finely sliced
    salt and pepper
    4 eggs
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/4 tsp nutmeg


    Make the brioche dough
    1 Crumble or sprinkle the yeast over 2 tbsp lukewarm water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly oil a medium bowl. Sift the flour on to a work surface with the salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and eggs.
    2 With your fingertips, work the ingredients in the well until thoroughly mixed. Draw in the flour—using a pastry scraper if you like—and work into the other ingredients with your fingertips to form a smooth dough; add more flour if it is very sticky.
    3 Knead the dough on a floured work surface, lifting it up and throwing it down until it is very elastic; it will take about 10 minutes. Work in more flour as necessary, so that the dough is slightly sticky, but peels easily from the work surface.
    4 Add the butter, and pinch and squeeze to mix it into the dough, then knead for 3–5 minutes, until smooth again. Shape into a ball and put into the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Or, if it’s more convenient, leave to rise overnight in the refrigerator.
    Prepare the vegetables
    1 Wipe the mushrooms clean with damp paper towels and trim the stalks level with the caps. Set each mushroom stalk-side down on a cutting board and cut into very thin strips.
    2 Peel and trim the carrots and turnips, then cut them into very fine julienne strips. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the carrot strips and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and turnips and season with salt and pepper.
    3 Press a piece of buttered foil over the vegetables. Cover with the lid of the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should gently steam without browning. Remove from the heat, add the scallions and taste for seasoning.
    Line the pan
    1 Butter a 12in (30cm) tart pan. Knead the brioche dough lightly to knock out the air. Lightly flour a work surface, then roll out the dough to a round 3in (7.5cm) larger than the pan. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and drape it over the pan.
    2 Gently lift the edges of the dough with one hand and press it well into the bottom and edge of the tart pan with the other hand. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan, pressing down to cut off excess dough. With your forefinger and thumb, press the dough evenly up the side, from the bottom, to increase the height of the dough rim.
    Fill and bake the tart
    1 Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the dough. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until evenly mixed, then pour this custard over the vegetables in the tart pan.
    2 Fold the top edge of the dough rim over the filling to form a crust. Let rise in a warm place until puffed up; this will take 20–30 minutes, though it can take a little longer on a cool day. Bake until the brioche crust is very brown and the custard set but retaining a slight wobble when tested with a knife; it will take 40–45 minutes. If the top gets too brown before the tart is ready, cover it with foil. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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