Sweet Pepper Tart
1 tart shell (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 red bell peppers, seared, peeled, cored and cut into medium julienne
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt & Black pepper in a mill
1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks
1½ cups half-and-half
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated dry Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Swiss-style cheese, such as Emmentaler
Several basil leaves and flowers
Prepare the tart shell and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This can be done several hours or a day in advance, but if it is chilled for longer than an hour, allow 30 minutes for it to sit at room temperature before rolling it out.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the tart shell and press it into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan.
Put the butter into a medium saute pan set over low heat. When it is melted, add the onion and saute gently until it is soft, fragrant and translucent, about 20 minutes; do not let it brown. Add the peppers and garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Put the egg and eggs yolks into a large bowl and whisk until smooth and thick. Add the half-and-half, stir and fold in the dry Jack cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the pepper and onion mixture in the tart shell and top with the remaining cheese. Pour the custard over everything and agitate the pan to distribute it evenly. Set the tart on a sheet pan and place on the middle rack of the oven; bake until the custard is set and the top lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overcook.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the basil leaves into thin ribbons. Cut the tart into wedges and top each piece with some of the basil leaves and flowers. Enjoy warm.
Tart Shell (Paté Brisée)
Makes 1 shell
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
6 tablespoon cold butter, cut into small cubes
Put the flour into a medium bowl, add the salt and pepper and stir with a fork.
Form a well in the center of the flour and add the egg yolk and ice water. Use one finger to mix the ingredients together in a circular motion. When they have just come together, tip onto a clean work surface and add the butter. Use a pastry scraper to pull the flour toward the butter, cutting the butter into the flour.
Use the palm of your hand to work the dough a bit more. If it seems a bit too dry, sprinkle with a tablespoon of ice water. Gather into a ball, wrap in wax paper or parchment and chill for at least 30 minutes.
To finish, turn the ball of dough onto a floured work surface and pat or roll it into a 10- to 12-inch circle. Continue as directed in the main recipe.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org