We’re always looking for creative new ways to use our favorite, tried-and-true kitchen staples, like these classic mini tart pans. For a fresh take, we asked Aran Goyoaga, cook, writer, photographer behind the blog Cannelle et Vanille, to come up with a brand new recipe to showcase them. Here, she shares her Wild Mushroom, Taleggio & Fig Tarts — a savory, gluten free dish that’s perfect as we transition from summer to fall.
How did you develop this gluten-free tart dough? How would you characterize the flavor?
One thing I love about gluten-free baking is that I get to play around with different grain flours and their textures and characteristic flavors. For savory tarts such as this one, I like to introduce more flavor with the addition of quinoa and millet, which are very distinct and slightly earthy. Also, the addition of almond flour gives it a bit more of a flaky texture and nutty flavor.
Any tips for working with the dough?
Because there is no gluten in this dough, it’s easier to work with it – there is less chance of it becoming tough and too elastic. However, it does tend to fall apart more easily (especially because of the almond flour). If you are used to rolling out dough, just work a bit faster, and if it cracks, just pinch it together. Don’t let the dough get too warm or soft. If you are intimidated by the rolling pin, you can simply press the dough into the tart molds. It will work the same, but make sure the dough is still about 1/8-inch thick or it won’t bake as nicely.
Why do you like individual tarts versus full-size? Any advantage to using the smaller sizes?
This recipe will work the same for six individual tartlets or one 9-inch tart pan, but I do like the individual pans for presentation and serving, as you don’t have to cut into the tart. It just holds together nicely. But both sizes work fine.
If you have any other notes about the pans – tips for using them, etc. – we’d love to hear them!
I like to store filled tart molds in the freezer for when I feel like making a tart. It cuts time in half later on. So what I do is make the tart dough, then fill the tart pans with it, wrap them with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer until I am ready to use them. No need to thaw them out either. They can be baked or filled (depending on the recipe) while the dough is still frozen. It’s a time saver.
What was your inspiration behind the toppings?
I love mixing savory and sweet ingredients together. Figs go particularly well with nutty and earthy cheeses, so I thought, how great would they be with mushrooms! It might seem like an odd combination but I think it works.
How would you serve these tarts? Any suggested accompaniments or specific occasions?
These are great for brunch with a green salad on the side, or, make them into even smaller bite-size tarts as an appetizer or finger food.
Wild Mushroom, Taleggio & Fig Tarts
For the millet and quinoa tart dough:
1/2 cup (70 g) millet flour
1/3 cup (45 g) quinoa flour
1/3 cup (35 g) almond flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 tablespoons (110 g) cold unsalted butter, diced into 1/2 –inch pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 medium leek, white part only sliced
5 ounces (125 g) lobster mushrooms or other wild mushrooms
2 springs thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
3 ounces (85 g) taleggio or raclette (any cheese that melts nicely), sliced
8 ounces (225 g) figs, cut in quarters
To make the dough, combine the first six ingredients in the food processor and pulse to aerate. Add the cold and diced butter and pulse ten times until the butter is the size of peas. Add 6 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until dough comes together. It will not form a ball. Press the dough between your fingers and if it comes together, it is done. If dough feels dry and crumbly, add another tablespoon of water.
Transfer dough to a work surface and form a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Dust your work surface, preferably cold such as marble, with a bit of millet flour. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut circles that are 5 inches in diameter and fill the tart molds with them. Cut off excess dough with a knife and press dough into the mold. Refrigerate the tart dough for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cover the tart molds with small pieces of parchment paper and top with pie weights or dry beans. Bake the tarts for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake another 10 minutes until golden. Keep the oven on.
To make the filling, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, leeks and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, parsley, chives, white wine, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of mushrooms. Lobster mushrooms are hearty and take a bit longer to cook.
Fill the tart crust with the sliced taleggio and top with the sautéed mushrooms. Top with figs. Bake the tarts for another 5 minutes until the cheese is heated and the figs are warm. Serve immediately. Makes six 4-inch tartlets.
Recipe by Aran Goyoaga.