Triple Pepper Tart with a Gougère Crust

PepperTartBakedbfLOIt is amazing what you come across when cleaning out your iPhone.

Aside from the pics which lead to yesterday’s post (which Rich has now decided needs to be made for dinner as soon as possible – I’ll need to pick up some cream o’ chicken soup!), I came across a shot I took of a feature devoted to Betty Crocker recipe winners. One look and I knew why I’d noted this recipe – the crust was a gougère dough made with blue cheese, and the filling a mixture of peppers, onion, garlic and herbs!

MorbierLablebfLOI just so happened to have a few peppers in the crisper, and some cheese that I thought was of the blue variety – hey – it was French, it was aged (OK, only for 60 days, but STILL), and it had what we both believed to be one, prominent, vein o’ that tasty, TASTY mold running though the middle – we both go just a little bit NUTS! at a well-stocked MorbierSlicebfLOcheese counter, and will sometimes come home with more than we need, want, or know what the heck we might have bought.

As it turns out; the cheese – a very pleasant Morbier, is rich and creamy – some might say nutty, but I didn’t really get that – cows’ milk cheese with a layer of ash more or less down the center (for reasons why, etc. – click the link or go to da Google).

Well; to paraphrase someone – you makes yer gougère with the cheese that you brung.

• 3 medium peppers, sliced
• 1/2 red onion, sliced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
•1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
• I also added some 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s
•3/4 cup milk
•5 tbsp butter, cut up
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1 cup flour
GougereDoughCookingbfLO•4 oz. (1 cup) blue cheese
•4 eggs
•1 oz. (1/4 cup) blue cheese

Preheat oven to 375º.

Grease an 11-inch tart pan and set aside.

Cook the onion, peppers, and garlic in hot olive oil over medium heat until tender. Stir in the basil and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

GougereDoughMorbierbfLOCombine the milk, butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper (I used some coarse ground lemon pepper) together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and vigorously beat in the flour. Return to the stove over reduced heat and stir for two minutes – it’ll be wicked thick, but just keep it moving so it doesn’t burn – kind of like your basic roux.

GougereDoughReadyToBakebfLOTransfer the dough mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the 4 oz. (1 cup) of blue cheese – if I’d actually used blue cheese, it would’ve been nicely crumbled, but since the Morbier was so creamy, I just tried cutting it into smallish pieces and letting the warm dough do the work.

Beat on high for two minutes, then reduce speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating to fully blend in each egg before adding the next.

GougereTart10MinutesbfLOSpread the dough evenly over the well buttered tart pan – it’ll be soft and sticky, so you’ll just have to spread it with a spatula. I mebbe should’ve tried spreading mine up the sides a bit more – but figured the puffyness and the weight of the pepper mixture would work to settle the topping into more of a filling as things went along.

Bake for ten minutes – you can see how the dough has started to puff, looking just a bit like instant potatoes.

PepperGougereTartOvenbfLORemove from the oven and top the pastry shell with the pepper mixture. I tried to mass the peppers more or less in the center  so they’d ‘weigh down’ the dough and give the finished dish a more usual tart-like appearance.

Return to the oven and bake for forty minutes, or until the crust is puffed up golden brown. The peppers more or less sat on top of the dough, and actually weighed bits of it down so it wasn’t what you’d call ‘puffy’ so next time I try this, I’ll try to scatter them more uniformly across the entire top of the tart.

PepperGougereTartbfLORemove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of blue cheese over the tart, pop the whole glorious bundle out of the tart pan, and serve.

The gougère crust ended up resembling a popover, with puffy sides and a dense center. The Morbier was very nice, but I can see how a nice hunk o’ Stilton or Gorgonzola or Maytag Blue  would’ve been a very good thing.


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