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Author Notes: I love the robust tomatoey curry of these toothsome lentils. The subtle presence of the melted cheddar adds protein and ties together the curry and the crunchy texture of the Three Grain Pie Crust.
* There is a photo of the hand pie version of this recipe here:
https://food52.com/recipes/21134-curried-lentil-hand-pies —LE BEC FIN
Serves 16; 8 for each tart
Curried Lentil Filling
- 1/8- 1/4 cup canola oil (or more to keep spices moist)
- 1/2 medium large onion, chopped into 1/3 " small dice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup peeled minced ginger
- 1 large bay leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/8 cup plus 1/2 Tablespoon Madras curry powder (Sun brand is my favorite)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 14 ounces Pastene whole plum tomatoes
- 3-4 ounces tomato paste
- 12 ounces brown lentils
- 3 1/8 cups liquid made up of all the tomato juices from the 28 ounce can, plus water as needed
- 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups x sharp cheddar or gruyere, grated, for filling
- 1 1/2 cups x sharp cheddar or gruyere, grated, to top filling
- 1 large egg beaten with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, for assembly of tarts (may need 2nd egg.)
- In hot oil,over medium high heat, saute onion through turmeric til golden/translucent, about 5 -8 minutes, being careful not to burn.Remove tomatoes from their juices and pulse til well chopped in processor. To the onions, add tomatoes and lentils through salt; stir well; bring to boil, and turn down to simmer, covered, 35-50 minutes (or more), checking and stirring occasionally so lentils don't stick on bottom, til all liquid is absorbed and lentils are cooked through without being mushy. Adjust seasoning as needed and cook a few more minutes, uncovered. Mixture should be very moist but without any pools of liquid. Let cool completely. Stir in 3 cups grated cheese.The filling can be made a week in advance.
Three Grain Pie Crust
- 8 ounces sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese *
- 6 Tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
- 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup finely ground organic cornmeal**
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flou
- 3/4 - 1 cup white pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- In a mixer with a paddle, cream the butter ; add cream cheese through salt and combine thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix the flours and cornmeal; add to bowl and beat til combined, scraping the bottoms and sides of the bowl. On a floured or cornmeal-dusted surface or bowl, quickly knead together the dough. If the dough won't come all together, add a few drops more cream to bring together loose bits. If dough is sticky, knead in a little more flour til it is not sticky. Transfer dough to a piece of saran and flatten to a 1/2" thick disc. Support with a cake board or sheet pan and refrigerate at least an hour. * I use Philadelphia brand cream cheese. If you use a less expensive brand, you may need to add more flour to compensate for more water in the cream cheese. * Organic and/or stoneground cornmeal makes a big difference in nutrition, flavor and freshness. It also goes rancid easily, so store in frig or freezer. Note: Use up or freeze this raw dough within 2-3 days, or the whole wheat will cause it to turn grey (though that can't be seen after it is baked .)
- ROLLING THE DOUGH AND ASSEMBLING THE TARTS If it is a 1/2 inch thick disc, remove dough from frig 1/2 hour before rolling out. OR, if the disc is thick like mine- about2-3 inches, remove it a few hours before rolling out. Cut it in half. On a floured surface, roll out an 1/8 " thick round,sprinkling a little bit of flour on your surface, to keep the dough from sticking.. And also dust some flour on top of the dough surface if it gets sticky there.) If the round is sticky, dust with a tiny bit of flour to keep it from sticking. Repeat with the other half. Reserve any leftover dough for impromptu turnovers, or freeze and use later.
- Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thickness and fill the bottom and sides of two ~ 10-11 inch removable- bottom tart shells , cutting off top edge cleanly with a knife. Fill one shell with even layer of curried lentils. Top with grated cheddar. Add top crust. Brush with egg glaze, poke some decorative vent holes. Bake 25 minutes til browned. (You may want to fill and bake one tart as a test before baking the second.) The bottom crust should be baked through but if not, you can pre-bake/ blind bake the bottom crust after filling a foil lining with dry beans or pie weights, and then cooling and filling the tart with curried lentils and cheddar and then topping with the top crust and baking to finish it.
- Notes: * I use Philadelphia brand cream cheese. If you use a less expensive brand, you may need to add more flour to compensate for more water in the cream cheese. * Organic and/or stoneground cornmeal makes a big difference in nutrition, flavor and freshness. It also goes rancid easily, so store in frig or freezer. Note: Use up or freeze this raw dough within 2-3 days, or the whole wheat will cause it to turn grey (though that can't be seen after it is baked.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Tart