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Author Notes: I adapted this recipe from Molly Wizenberg from Orangette. I love beets, and find almost any excuse I can to use them in different ways, either for beautiful color or a sweet and earthy flavor. This tart was simple and beautiful, and a hit with a light arugula salad. —mia0112
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, chilled
- 1/2 cup ice water
For the filling:
- 7-8 small beets, roasted and sliced
- 1 cup shallots, sliced
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- dashes pepper
- 8 ounces feta cheese (I like Bulgarian or French best)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- To make the dough, measure out your flour, salt and sugar and whisk in a mixing bowl. Chop the (very) cold butter into chunks, and add into the flour, mixing with your fingers or a pastry blender until you have pea-sized pieces of butter. This is important, because the butter pieces will melt in the oven, creating the flaky texture. Drizzle in the ice water, working gently to pull the dough into a ball. Do not over work. If you need a few extra tbsp of ice water, it's fine, but you don't want the dough too wet. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- To roast the beets, set oven to 400. wash the beets, and cutt off any greens or scraggly ends. Drizzle with a tsp or so of olive oil and wrap in foil, placing in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Let cool, and peel.
- Reduce oven to 350. Roll out your dough, and place in a 10" spring form pan with the bottom lined in parchment. Cover the dough with foil, and pour 1 lb dried beans or pennies on top of the foil and pre-bake for about 10-12 minutes at 375. The beans weigh down the crust to keep it from puffing while baking.
- Slice the shallots, and sauté in olive oil until they are soft and just starting to brown.
- Layer sliced beets and caramelized shallots inside the pan. Whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme and feta, and season with pepper. The cheese is usually salty enough on its own, and doesn’t need it here. Place in the oven, and bake 45-50 min. Let cool, and remove from spring form pan. Top with lemon zest and a few leaves of fresh thyme.