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Wildflower honey, apple and goat cheese tart

Wildflower honey, apple and goat cheese tart
Los Angeles Times

Days spent lolling around the blooming fields of lavender and wild sage and hanging out in the fragrant orange orchards. A pause on the way home to lick sweet nectar from honeysuckle blossoms. A session in the home office, transforming ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 8

Butter pastry

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces and chilled

Step 1In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until pea-size. Add 5 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough just comes together (if still too dry, add additional water, a teaspoon at a time). Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a flattened round about 6 inches in diameter. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.

Tart filling and assembly

  • 3 medium or 2 large Pink Lady apples
  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 (4-ounce) rounds of mild goat cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup creamy wildflower honey, plus about 1/4 cup for drizzling
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 recipe butter pastry

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Core the apples and halve them lengthwise, then slice each half lengthwise into one-half-inch slices. You should have about 4 cups of sliced apples.

Step 2Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. After it melts, continue to cook, stirring occasionally until it turns light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add one-half cup sugar and the apples and saute until the apples are slightly softened but still firm, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Step 3Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and place the dough round on top. Top the dough with a second large sheet of plastic and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet of plastic and invert the dough over a 9-inch glass pie pan. Center the dough in the pan, and peel off the second sheet of plastic (now on top); the dough will hang over the edges of the pan.

Step 4Crumble three-fourths of the goat cheese (1 1/2 rounds) into the tart pan. Spoon one-half cup of the honey over the goat cheese (the honey will not fully cover the goat cheese). Loosely arrange the cooled apples on top and pour any liquid from the pan over the tart. Crumble the remaining goat cheese and sprinkle this over the apples; then sprinkle over with the salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Fold the edges of the dough back over the filling (it should cover the filling by 1 to 2 inches). Place the entire tart in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Step 5Remove the chilled tart from the freezer and place it in the oven on the lowest rack. Bake the tart for 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to make sure the top is not overly browned (if so, loosely cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil). Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and rotate the tart pan. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is uniformly golden brown and the filling is caramelized on top.

Step 6Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. After 10 minutes, gently run a knife around the edge of the crust, loosening the tart (and any filling that may have overflowed) from the edges of the pan. Allow the tart to cool at least 2 to 3 hours, preferably overnight, to let the filling set completely before serving.

Step 7To serve, slice the tart into eight pieces and re-warm in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes. In a small saucepan, warm the remaining one-fourth cup honey on the stove until pourable, and drizzle to taste on top of each slice. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Rustic Canyon pastry chef Zoe Nathan. Creamy wildflower honey is milky in color and available at many specialty grocery stores and farmers markets. Nathan recommends Cypress Grove goat cheese.


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