Sweet and Savory Holiday Breakfast Tart

By • December 6, 2010 • 22 Comments



Author Notes: Though named a "Breakfast Tart," this is also delicious for lunch or dinner. The sweetness comes from the chestnut flour in the crust, and the slices of pear buried in the custard. You could also make this using natural bacon, slivers of apple and cheddar, or whatever other cheese appeals to you. The crust can be made and blind baked the night before. You can also saute the sausage and onions and chop the herbs, and separately mix up the custard ingredients, well in advance. However you make this . . . enjoy!!AntoniaJames

Makes one 10" tart

Chestnut and Wheat Germ Crust

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons cold whole milk
  • Butter for greasing foil used in blind baking

The Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bulk sausage (pork, turkey or a combination)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage, if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon good prepared mustard (I use a stoneground mustard with horseradish)
  • 2 ounces Gruyere or similar cheese, coarsely grated (or more, to taste)
  • 1 Bosc or Anjou pear
  • Salt and pepper, if necessary
  1. START THE CRUST: Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Turn the mixture into a large bowl and drizzle the oil and 1 tablespoon of the milk over it. Stir to combine, using the back of a broad-bowled spoon to mix the ingredients. It will appear dry and crumbly. Don’t despair.
  3. Use your hands to scoop up and press the dough firmly together.Add the second tablespoon of milk if you are unable to get the dough to clump up, i.e., if it seems just too dry.
  4. Turn the pieces of dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, bring the edges up and squeeze the dough into a ball inside the plastic wrap. Flatten it into a disk, thoroughly wrap it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. ROLL THE CRUST: Roll out the dough between two layers of plastic wrap. Place in the tart pan and press firmly around the edges and into the sides of the ring. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 20 minutes.
  6. MAKE THE FILLING: Saute the sausage and onion together in a heavy skillet until the sausage is fairly cooked and the onion is translucent.
  7. Taste a little piece of the cooked sausage. Is it salty? Does it have enough herbs in it? How about the pepper in it? Take note, as you will be seasoning and adding herbs, or not, depending on your answers to these questions.
  8. Beat the eggs, half-and-half and cream together.
  9. PARTIALLY BLIND BAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter the shiny side of a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom of tart crust, and up the sides as well. Put the foil in, butter side down, and add dried beans, pie weights, pennies, or whatever you typically use.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, prick the crust all over and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes.
  11. ASSEMBLE THE TART: As soon as you remove the crust from the oven, brush the bottom with the mustard and put the cheese on it. (This will melt the cheese, allowing it to form a protective barrier between the custard and the crust.)
  12. Quarter, core and cut into thin slices the pear. If its peel is tough or thick, peel it as well. (You can do this while the crust is blind baking if you want. I like to do it at the last minute and directly slice into the crust, simply because it's easier for me.)
  13. Carefully arrange a layer of the thin slices of fruit over the cheese. Pour in 1/2 of the custard.
  14. Sprinkle on the fresh herbs, if you are using them, then add the sausage and onion mixture. Pour over the rest of the custard and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
  15. BAKE IT: Bake for 30-35 minutes, framing the outer crust with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. (I always check it at about ten minutes).
  16. Let the tart rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  17. Enjoy!!

Tags: chestnuts, fall, Holidays, Holidays, quiche, savory, winter

Comments (22) Questions (0)

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8 months ago lizund

I am not able to find the chestnut flour by me - I used a regular pie crust but the custard leaks thru - what am I doing wrong?

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Really wonderful and I love the use of chestnut flour in the pastry dough. I could eat this any time of day or night

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

I could eat this every day of the week. I will have a hard time finding chestnut flour. I'll check WFM the next time I am near one.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Brilliant! What finesse with both the crust and filling!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Sagegreen. That's quite a compliment. I'm actually craving some tart like that, right now . . . . Mr T and made short work of the one photographed. I'm scheming to put another on the table by week's end. ;o)

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks so much. I really like fruit, cheese and sausage combo too, and am planning to make this again with the bacon/apple/fontina or manchego trio this weekend. Best place to find chestnut flour around here is the older, established Italian delis that sell a lot of imported Italian groceries. As noted above, you may also be able to find it at Whole Foods. You might want to call your local one to check. If you can't find it anywhere, send me a note and I'll send you some. ;o)

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

AJ, this sounds incredible! Do you think I could substitute almond meal for the chestnut flour?

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You probably could, but I'm given the fat content of almonds and, presumably almond flour, you might want to cut back on the butter. As is, this is incredibly buttery, due to the somewhat buttery taste of the chestnuts and their velvety "mouth feel." Also, the chestnuts give the crust an amazing flavor that the almond flour would not. I'd love to hear how it works out. BTW, did you see the foodpickle discussions and also, I think there were some within a recipe for something else containing chestnut flour, about where to find chestnut flour? Let me know if you haven't, and I'll run that down. ;o)

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, AJ. I saw the thread on chestnut flour. I just have a bunch of almond meal in my freezer, so was hoping to use it. I'm sure it won't be as good as the chestnut, but almonds and pears work well together so I'm hopeful.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Hey, it sounds great. Let us know how it turns out, please! I agree, almonds and pears are nice together. ;o)

Monkeys

over 3 years ago monkeymom

Ditto to all the below and what a cool crust too!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, monkeymom. And yes, the crust is what makes this really tasty. ;o)

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Love the combination of ingredients and flavors...this sounds like my kind of special breakfast (or dinner)!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, dymnyno. I wasn't sure about putting a pear in, and in fact, Mr T had his doubts, but I went ahead and snuck it in, and it works! ;o)

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

This looks well worth the effort - I think we can find chestnut flour at Whole Foods...Nice flavor combos, AJ!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Ah, didn't know about Whole Foods. We only have one Italian deli within reasonable driving distance that sells the stuff. Am considering stocking up, as I have been told that it is a seasonal item. Will definitely check WF when I'm there next. Thanks for the tip! (And your kind words.) ;o)

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

this looks so good. I like the crust, well, and the filling, too.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you. That photo was taken on the day after I made it, due to some scheduling issues (namely, it was late and dinner seemed more urgent than a photo shoot). It looked even better right out of the oven. I took a shot of the whole tart, but need to correct the white balance, due to all the crazy different color values of the lights in my kitchen and adjacent areas . . . . . ;o)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Coming over now...

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're welcome, any time. I mean that. Any time! ;o)

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Love the cheese / fruit / sausage thing going on here. I guess it is time to look for chestnut flour!!!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

That note above, regarding where to find the chestnut flour, I had meant as a reply to aargersi, but it somehow appeared there, instead of here. ;o)