Holidays and dinner parties are clearly not the place to proselytize for healthy eating habits. But it also doesn’t mean that you have to throw out all your food convictions to please your guests. So when it comes to entertaining, even I tend to be more lenient with the butter, salt and sugar, and I try to dig a little deeper into my pile of recipes to come up with something that is delicious, whilst also being pleasing to the eye and not entirely against all the things I believe are good for you. Take the wonderful world of savory pies, tarts and galettes. Yes, they take a little more effort to prepare, but are worth every minute of your time. And once you learn to master the dough, just think of all the exciting and impressive savory and sweet dishes you and your guests will enjoy. Come and cook with us!
The difference between a pie and a tart is the type of dish used. Tarts are usually not as deep as pies (making them somewhat shallow), have sides that are in most cases perpendicular to the base and do not feature a top layer. Galettes, on the other hand, don’t use a dish at all and are just rolled out straight onto a baking-sheet creating edges that overlap onto the galette itself. They usually look the part, too. Pies – and tarts and galettes – have been around for a long time but have only recently started to appeal to me thanks to my mother-in-law, who gave me an aptly named book called The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis. It is packed with glorious pictures of both savory and sweet tarts that will inspire even the most reluctant of tart makers. Sweet versions aside, the tart that has been heavily featured in our recent holiday dinner parties as a hearty appetizer is a Brie and Tomato tart that is relatively easy to make and will impress your friends and families.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of making the dough. It isn’t as hard as it sounds and if you have a food processor, you will not have any problem at all. You can also easily make the dough by hand and there are many great how-to-videos that show you the process in all its details. I use butter, not shortening, for the dough and think that it lends the crust a better flavor.
I know that we all have so much to get done before the holidays, but if you give this tart a try and like it as much as we do, you’ll have a great new dish to add to your holiday and dinner party repertoire and will come back to making it time and time again. And your family will love you for it! Come and tart with us!