Chard and Saffron Tart with Yeasted Tart Dough
This tart made a delicious dinner. The tart was lighter than a traditional quiche because of the yeasted crust. We really enjoyed the Chard and saffron filling. (Hans: I’m thinking this is right up your alley and that you will come up with some magnificent variation!) I used crème fraîche in the dough but will use butter next time. Although the crème fraîche made the dough very tender, I think butter would have made the dough easier to work with and given the finished product a more flavorful crust. In other words, I thought the crust was a bit on the bland side.
The tart, dough and recipe, were adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison.
Yeasted Tart Dough
1 teaspoon instant yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 large egg, room temperature
150 to 200 grams flour (I used Guisto’s Baker’s Choice)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons crème fraîche or soft unsalted butter
Dissolve the yeast in water. Combine 150 grams of the flour and salt in a medium bowl, and make a well. Break the egg into the middle of the well and add the crème fraîche or soft unsalted butter (I used crème fraîche, and an extra large egg, so had to add additional flour), and dissolved yeast.
Mix everything together with a flexible spatula, shape into a loose ball, cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Chard and Saffron Tart
1 large bunch of chard, enough to make 8 cups of leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, medium diced (about ¼” dice)
2 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk or cream or a combination of both (I used regular cream-topped milk)
Large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon of hot water
½ teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
Prepare the yeasted tart dough and set aside to rise in a warm place.
Cut the chard leaves away from the steams and chop the leaves into pieces about 1 inch square, wash well, and drain in a colander.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and soak the saffron threads.
Heat the butter and oil in a large 12-inch skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent (do not brown), about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chard leaves and salt. Turn the leaves over repeatedly with tongs until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Set pan aside.
Prepare the tart shell: Flatten out the dough and place in a quiche pan (I used a 10” x 2” deep tin quiche pan with a removable bottom sprayed lightly with pan-spray)*. Press the dough out to the edge using your finger tips and up the sides. You can let the dough relax for 20 minutes if it starts shrinking back on you. I was only able to coax the dough about half-way up the side of the pan which was just high enough to hold the filling. The dough should be thicker on the sides and thinner on the bottom. I was pleased to see that as the tart baked both the dough and its filling rose up to the top of the pan.
Make the custard: beat the eggs, stir in the milk or cream, infused saffron thread liquid, orange zest, Parmesan, a few shaving of nutmeg, and the parsley. Stir in the chard and onion mixture, taste, and season with more salt if needed, and pepper.
Pour the filling into the tart shell and scatter the toasted pine nuts on top.
Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the custard is set, about 50 minutes. (I placed the quiche pan on a baking tray. If I had placed it directly on the rack, the baking time might have been shorter.)
Unmold and serve with a salad (I made a salad of butter lettuce and fresh navel orange slices tossed with a herb shallot walnut oil vinaigrette).
Serves 4 to 6
*If you don't own this type of deep quiche pan, I think you might be able to use an 8" inch spring-form cake pan. You don't have to worry about the filling leaking out because the tart dough is like bread dough.