Not so long ago, I wrote A Lesson in Humility describing how I was bested by a frozen pie crust. Well today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m back for redemption. This tart was not only a surprisingly great combination of flavors, but the crust was outstanding. Never again will I be the victim of a cold, limp crust. I am the master of my own bakery.
Total kitchen time: 1 hour
Makes: 1 12″ Self-Esteem Booster
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 1/2 lb salmon, bones and skin removed
- 1/2 cup light cream cheese
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 leek, finely shredded into long pieces
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp black truffle oil (optional, but recommended)
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Start by making the crust. Combine all of the dry ingredients. I like to make a mound on my counter top, but you can do this in a food processor or stand mixer. Add the butter and shortening and mix together until the dough forms pea-sized pieces. Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough holds itself together. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins. Meanwhile…
- Preheat your oven to 450 and set the upper rack 6-8 inches below the broiler. Cover a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Remove the outer film from your garlic cloves, keeping them whole. Wrap the garlic into a bundle with aluminum foil and fill the inside with olive oil. Place in the oven (or better yet, a toaster oven set on high, for 20 minutes. Remove from the aluminum foil.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the cream cheese, chives and roasted garlic. Process until it it light and fluffy.
- Next, prepare the salmon by tranche cutting it. A tranche cut is a very thin cut on a steep angle. This will give you large, tender slices of salmon. Arrange the salmon slices, not overlapping, on your baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
- Roll out your crust and press it into your tart pan. Cut of the excess dough and cover the bottom with pie weights (I used ramekins). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden and flaky.
- Heat a skillet over high heat and add 1 tbsp of the remaining olive oil. Toss the shredded leeks until wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Bake the salmon, still at 450F, for 2-3 minutes. It really won’t take long to cook. If you see white stuff oozing out, you’ve overcooked it. Get in your Kitchenaid time machine and go back 2 minutes, buddy.
- Spread an even layer of the cream cheese mixture on the tart crust. Arrange the salmon slices in a fan shape and top with the shredded leeks. Drizzle the black truffle oil over the whole thing and enjoy!
So, yeah, this tart is a fair amount of work. But it’s totally worth it. My advice is to double or quadruple the crust recipe and save the extra for later. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the sweet and savory taste of my ego returning.