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Author Notes: After failing miserably at homemade mozzarella, I decided to take a step back and retreat to the goat milk I bought last week. I’ve been meaning to make chèvre since my stint with ricotta; and after the mozzarella mess of last night, I felt quite discouraged about the outcome. Never mind that, because it turned out delicious. Such a simple, mild flavor, yet distinct goat cheese taste. Ah, success! With the local cherry tomatoes I bought at the market, I figured what is better than a simple, summer tart. —fraîchement
Makes 1 tart
French Tart Shell, modified from David Lebovitz
- 3 oz unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 5 oz of unbleached all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour blend (I just really try to find any excuse to use my pastry flour)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp warm water
- scant 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large oven-proof bowl, add all the tart ingredients, except for the flour. Place into the oven for 10 minutes. Take out, and be careful! The bowl is very hot. Add in the flour, and immediately mix. You should have a ball, in which you will place onto the tart pan. Using your utensil of choice, begin to spread the dough along the pan. Once the dough is warm enough to touch, use your fingers and palms to even out. The dough should look like the picture below. Bake for 15 minutes, just enough time for the edges to brown.
Chèvre & the rest of the tart
- 1 liter unpasteurized or pasteurized goat milk (you cannot use ultra-pasteurized because of the intervals of hot/warm/cold it has already been through)
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- fresh ground black pepper
- Cheesecloth & thermometer required
- 10 large cherry tomatoes, sliced width-wise about 1/4 inch apart
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- Begin to heat the goat milk slowly until the temperature reaches 160ºF. Once this is achieved, take the pot off the heat and add the lemon juice. Once the curds have formed and the whey is clearly distinct from the curds (a yellowish color), gently pour the curds (along with the whey) into a cheesecloth covered colander. Allow to drain, then pull all ends together and tie with twine. Hang from faucet to allow the whey to drip into the sink. Hang for 1 hour, in order to retain some moisture (after all, you want to have spreadable chèvre).
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chèvre, along with the ingredients listed: garlic, salt, fresh ground black pepper. Mix well, and spread over tart shell. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes meticulously.
- Add the basil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350ºF. Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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