Queen of Tarts: Catherine Kluger’s sweet and savoury delights to warm the heart

1 Feb
Queen of Tarts

Queen of Tarts: Tarts to warm your heart @ Tartes Kluger, Paris

God I love a good tart. There’s something about that crumbly, buttery pastry, filled with baked goodness that is ever-so satisfying; and the art of the tart is something the French manage to do so well.

A simple but perfectly baked tart can be the ultimate comfort food, and the perfect pastry base has become the ultimate creative canvas for tart master Catherine Kluger- creator of “Tartes Kluger”, Paris. Kluger- an ex music industry lawyer who loved baking and creating delicious treats for friends and dinner parties, donned the suit and slipped on her apron in 2009 when she opened Tartes Kluger in the vibrant and eclectic Marais district of Paris.

Originally a boulangerie, the space was transformed into this unique atelier des tartes where you can now dine in, take away and even order your tarts online, home delivered and hot on arrival.

la Porte

Follow your nose: heavenly scents waft out of the Tartes Kluger entrance and fill the backstreets of the Marais

Tartes Kluger window

Shopfront window @ Tartes Kluger

Menu Blackboard

Menu of the day

The extensive range of both sweet and savory tarts is made with seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables, and the eggs, cream and flour are sourced where possible from quality, sustainability certified suppliers and fabricated to respectful ancient methods.

Some of the tarts you can order by the slice or as part of the degustation menu include:

Savoury:
• Thai salmon, zucchini + vermicelli
• Fresh goats cheese, tomato, basil + mint
• Roast pumpkin, chestnut + mushroom
• Curried madras chicken and tomato
• Foie gras, potato + raspberry vinegar
• Green pea, zucchini, rocket + artichoke
• *Carrot, lemon and coriander pictured (Scroll down for recipe below)

Sweet:
• Orange and cardamom with chantilly ginger cream
• ‘Mont blanc’ style chestnut pavlova pie
• Mango and coconut summer biscuit
• Plum and almond cream
• Passion fruit, hazelnut meringue + lime
• Sweet Ricotta and raspberry

Three pieces of tart

Peace by tart: Spinach, ricotta & sesame, Three-ham & mustard, Carrot, lemon & coriander tarts

Sweet Summer Mango Biscuit Tart

Sweet Summer Mango Biscuit Tart

Piece of dark chocolate tart

Tart to warm hearts: The warm dark chocolate tart boasts a crumbly biscuit base and soft, brownie-like centre

le Cafe Gourmand

Lle Cafe Gourmand chez Tartes Kluger

Tarts_Baking

Behind the scenes @ Tartes Kluger: Tarts fresh out of the oven

Chocolate tart on cooling rack

Freshly baked hot chocolate tart

Mouth watering yet? Mine is, just from writing this!

What I most love about the humble tart is the unlimited variety of delicious combinations you can create, starting only from a well-made sweet or savoury pastry base. You are limited only by your imagination, inspiration and availability of quality, seasonal ingredients.

Let’s see… Carrot, Lemon & Coriander Pie, followed by a Summer Mango & Coconut tart- what better way to make a square meal out of a round dish? Now all you have to do is an afternoon “faire tour” of vintage shops in the fabulous Marais district, and convince yourself that the shopping has burnt off your lunch!

Of course, casually ‘popping into a Parisian tart bakery’ for lunch is not always an option, however baking a homemade tart and sharing the love with your friends and family is a true pleasure of its own. Fortunately, Catherine loves to share her recipes and tart-making tricks of the trade. Her two beautiful and fully illustrated cookbooks are available on Amazon, and her recipes are well sought after for their imaginative flavour pairings, seasonal approach and crowd-pleasing appeal. The Carrot, lemon confit and coriander tart I tasted on my visit was my absolute favorite, so thanks to Catherine, I have translated and am sharing her recipe for this delicious, trans-seasonal savoury tart below.

Catherine Kluger, Recipe Books, The Chef

The queen, her books, her chef

Catherine Kluger Portrait

Catherine Kluger: Queen of Tarts

Do you have a favorite tart recipe? What was the best tart you have ever eaten, and where? Do you have any baking tips for the perfect pastry, or perhaps some gluten free ideas and alternatives to share with the rest of us? Post your ideas and thoughts in the comments box below.

Happy tart making and baking!

Recipe:
Carrot, Lemon Confit & Coriander Tart
Courtesy of Catherine Kluger

Carrot_Lemon_Coriander_Tart

Carrot, Lemon Confit + Coriander Tart: Recipe below

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: Tart Pastry

Start the tart by preparing the pastry, and the first step should be preheating the oven to 200ºC/400ºF
This pastry recipe makes one 9-inch (23 cm) tart shell and is sourced from VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE by Deborah Madison, as quoted on gourmet.com

A fail-proof French–style crust for lining those French tart pans with a removable bottom. Because the dough is so short, it’s virtually impossible to overwork it.

• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic plain flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/2 cup butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
• 3 tablespoons water
• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds or cumin

Instructions: Tart Pastry

Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl, then work in the butter with two knives, your fingers, or a mixer until it makes fine crumbs without becoming completely smooth. Stir in enough water to pull the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

To line the pan, roll the dough out into a 9-inch circle then set it in the pan. Using the heel of your palm, press the dough up the side. If some pieces are too long, break them off and add them, as needed, to areas that are too short. The sides should be about ¼ inch thick, rise ¼ inch above the rim, and be slightly thinner at the base of the pan. This way, when the dough slumps during the baking, this shallow space will be filled evenly instead of being overly thick and under-baked. Carefully set the tart shell in the freezer to harden.

Tart shells are nearly always pre-baked before filling. To pre-bake a tart shell, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius/400ºF. “Blindbake” the pastry shell by lining pastry over with baking paper, then filling the tart tin with dry rice or legumes such as beans or lentils which will weigh down the based and stop it from swelling. Bake until set and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Check it several times for swells and prick any large bubbles with the tip of a knife.

Ingredients: Tart filling

• 300 ml milk
• 100 ml pouring cream
• 3 whole eggs
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 200 g carrots
• 30 g lemon confit (preserved lemon)
• ½ bunch fresh coriander

Instructions: Tart preparation

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

Peel carrots and cut into very thin strips or shred with a processor into long and thin noodle-like shreds.
‘Sweat’ the carrots to remove their water content by resting the carrot shreds in a colander mixed approximately 2 tsp of course sea salt. Leave to rest for one hour then ‘pat dry’ using a tea-towel to remove excess water and salt.

Take the pre-baked pastry dish arrange the shredded carrot at the bottom of the dish as evenly and vertically as possible, trying to make them ‘stand upright’ rather than lie flat on the bottom of dish, to fill the volume of the tin.

Rinse confit lemon, dry with paper towel and dice until it’s finely minced. Chop the coriander leaves finely and spread the coriander and lemon evenly over the carrot.

Prepare the liquid ingredients by mixing the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
Pour the liquid over the top of the carrots etc up to the height of the edge of the pastry. Decorate the top with coriander and cracked black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes whilst you drink a glass of champagne and call your friends and family to the table.

Bon Appétit!

Tartes Kluger can be found at 6 Rue du Forez in the Marais (3rd) arrondissement of Paris
Metro: Temple, Filles du Calvaire
Ph: +33 (0)1 53 01 53 53
www.tarteskluger.com

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7 Responses to “Queen of Tarts: Catherine Kluger’s sweet and savoury delights to warm the heart”

  1. Jeannette March 9, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    J’aurais aimer une de ces tartes a West Palm Beach!

    Jeannette

  2. Don Druker February 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Belgian Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese
    (Flamiche Aux Poireaux)
    6 to 8 servings
    Crust
    4 Tbsp (or more) iced water
    ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
    1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
    ¾ tsp salt
    ½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

    Filling
    ½ cup whole milk
    ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    ¼ tsp salt
    ½ cup crumbled aged goat cheese (such as Bûcheron), rind trimmed
    1½ cups Leek Confit (see below)

    Combine 4 Tbsp iced water and cider vinegar in small bowl. Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add water-vinegar mixture, processing until moist clumps form. If dough seems dry, add ice water by teaspoonfuls.

    Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

    Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Allow dough to soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

    Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll dough out on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides. Fold in overhang and press to extend dough ½ inch above sides of pan. Line pan with foil and dried beans, pie weights, or (I always do this) about 300 copper pennies.

    Bake until dough looks dry and set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue to bake until crust is pale golden, 20 minutes longer. Do not overbake. Remove pan from oven and allow crust to cool while preparing filling.

    Whisk milk, cream, egg, egg yolk, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese over bottom of warm crust; spread leek confit over and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pour milk mixture over. Bake until filling has puffed, is golden in spots, and center looks set, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly. Remove pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Leek Confit
    ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons water
    ½ teaspoon salt
    4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)

    Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Stir in water and salt. Cover pot; reduce heat to low. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook to evaporate excess water, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.

    DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled. Rewarm before using.

    • Rachel Bajada February 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

      Thanks Don!- this sounds delicious! I will definitely try the recipe 🙂

  3. Don Druker February 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart

    Crust
    4 Tbsp (or more) iced water
    ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
    1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
    ¾ tsp salt
    ½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

    Filling
    1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
    2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
    1 tablespoon truffle oil
    1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    2 large eggs
    1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
    ½ cup whipping cream
    ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
    Pinch of ground nutmeg
    1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
    ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Combine 4 Tbsp iced water and cider vinegar in small bowl. Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add water-vinegar mixture, processing until moist clumps form. If dough seems dry, add ice water by teaspoonfuls.

    Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

    Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Allow dough to soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

    Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll dough out on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides. Fold in overhang and press to extend dough ½ inch above sides of pan. Line pan with foil and dried beans, pie weights, or (I always do this) about 300 copper pennies.

    Bake until dough looks dry and set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue to bake until crust is pale golden, 20 minutes longer. Do not overbake. Remove pan from oven and allow crust to cool while preparing filling.

    Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F.

    Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 25 minutes longer. Cool cauliflower, then thinly slice. Drizzle with truffle oil; toss. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

    Heat remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly.

    DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store crust at room temperature. Cover and chill cauliflower and onion separately.

    Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion in crust. Arrange cauliflower evenly over. Set tart on rimmed baking sheet.

    Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.

    Makes 8 servings.

  4. Don Druker February 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Lemon Curd Tart in a Pine Nut Crust

    2 cups (10 ounces) pine nuts
    ⅓ cup sugar
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Sabayon:
    2 large eggs
    2 large egg yolks
    ¾ cup sugar
    ½ cup fresh lemon juice (you can remove the zest from these lemons
    before juicing and add to the mixture)
    6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    For the crust:

    Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times.
    Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground.

    In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, egg, and vanilla until the mixture is creamy.

    Mix the dry ingredients in slowly until just combined. Don’t overdo it.

    Divide dough into three pieces; wrap each piece in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before using.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Using your fingertips, press the dough into 3 fluted 7-inch tart pans.
    Place the pans in the freezer for 5 minutes, then remove and place the pans on a baking sheet.

    Put the sheet pan on a rack in the middle of the oven. Cook dough, rotating pan occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until shells are very light brown.

    Remove from oven and allow to rest while you make the sabayon.

    Bring 2 inches of water to boil in a medium sauté pan.
    In a large metal bowl whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about a minute, until ingredients are combined.

    Reduce heat under the pot to low so that water is barely at a simmer.
    Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl. Don’t let the eggs cook, or you’ll just have to throw them out and start again.

    After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add a third of the lemon juice.

    Continue to whisk vigorously and, when the mixture thickens again, add another one-third of the lemon juice.

    Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice.

    Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened and light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl.

    The total cooking time should be 8-10 minutes.

    Remove bowl from heat and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. The sabayon may loosen slightly, but it will thicken and set as it cools.

    Pour the warm sabayon into the tart crusts.

    Place tarts, still on baking sheet, under the broiler and brown, rotating if necessary. This will only take a few seconds, so don’t leave them alone!

    Remove tarts from the broiler and allow to sit until they reach room temperature before serving.

    I like to serve the tart with a topping of thinly sliced kiwi fruit, arranged in a spiral, starting in the center.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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