Something’s not right. It’s a perfectly glorious sunny day outside and I am in the kitchen. Strangely nowadays, I’m quite happy to stay indoors, even on beautiful spring days like these, so as long as I am in the kitchen making something. Sounds absurd, but have I become a kitchen recluse?
At times I catch myself edging to my front window pushing back the curtains and peering through the venetians, a bit like Jimmy Stewart, a la Hitchcock’s Rear Window sans the broken leg and wheelchair. I watch the sunlight filtering down, not a drop of it being spent on me and it seems like something is amiss, especially when in Australia catching rays is the national pastime.
I admit I haven’t yet become a full-fledged recluse; it hasn’t reached that creepy all blinds down, sit in complete darkness stage yet. It’s just that since I brought home a new addition to my kitchen menagerie, I haven’t been able to tear myself away from it. You see, I got myself a new food processor and now I find myself constantly looking for things to shred, pulse, blend and puree. The minute I opened the box, tore open the pristine layer of un-popped bubble wrap to reveal my shiny new accessory, I began the search for something to process. Being the food geek that I was, I couldn’t wait to start processing; I would have even resorted to shredding some bubble wrap if it weren’t for G persuading me not to.
So it has been a week of confining myself to the kitchen trying out my new gadget, and possibly causing myself some severe vitamin-D deficiency as I haven’t seen sunlight for days. Obsessed with finding new things for it to do, I have now turned to pastry making, and lots of it.
I have tried making pastry dough by hand before, but I find the best way to achieve consistently smooth dough is to use the food processor. Although it’s rather bulky and cumbersome, my food processor (duo) has become the essential ingredient to pastry making. Even when under the constant threat of eviction due to the declining amount of available real estate on my kitchen bench, the food processor still holds its place. And really, it’s only been living there for a week, I wasn’t going to kick it out just yet. I have decided that perhaps it is the jaffle iron’s time to go. There just isn’t enough room there both the both of them.
So here is a magnificent Three Olive Tart courtesy of my new processor. I can’t remember where I found this recipe for Pâte Brisse, but it is near perfect. Now I am quite hesitant to dub any recipe as the be all and end all of all pastry recipes, I think the search for the perfect pastry crust will continue long after the apocalypse, but for its utter simplicity, this recipe produces one of the finest crusts I have ever tasted. Buttery, crisp and flaky all at once, I think these are the indicators of a great crust. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold the filling yet delicate enough that every bite melts in your mouth.
As for the olives, I used Kalamata for the paste, black olives and green Manzanilla olives for the topping. Now you can use any three olives, or even just one or two, whatever you fancy, the recipe is quite versatile. The only thing I would suggest is to ensure that you do not add any extra salt to as the olives and anchovies provide enough saltiness. Unless you want the tart to taste like it has just swam out of the ocean, then by all means salt away, but in my opinion it really doesn't require any exta salt.
Now that I have satiated my need to pulse, shred and blend, I think I will go outside and enjoy some sunshine. Have a great weekend everyone!
Three Olive Tart
adapted from an Olive Tart recipe this book
1 recipe pâte brisse (see below)
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, sage, oregano)
½ cup Kalamata Olive Paste (recipe below)
½ cup black olives
½ cup Manzanilla (green) olives
½ cup crumbled goat’s cheese
8 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
ground black pepper
olive oil to drizzle
Preheat oven to 200˚C and place a pizza stone in the centre rack.
In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough into a circle roughly larger than the size of your pizza stone.
Carefully transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper ensuring you do not tear the pastry.
Evenly spread the olive paste onto the dough 1 inch from the edge.
Add onions and sprinkle half the chopped herbs.
Scatter with black and green (Manzanilla) olives, goat’s cheese and anchovies.
Season with black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle remaining chopped herbs over.
Fold over the 1 inch of dough around the edges all the way around.
Remove pizza stone from oven and using the parchment paper, carefully transfer tart onto the pizza stone.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. You may have to turn the tart around halfway to brown the other side.
Tart can be served warm or at room temperature.
Kalamata Olive Paste
(makes about 1 cup)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
5 anchovy fillets
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, blend the olives, anchovy fillets, garlic, rosemary, and pepper to a smooth paste.
With the processor on, slowly add the olive oil until combined, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the olive paste to a small bowl, and set aside.
NOTE: This paste can essentially be made with any type of olive.
Pâte Brisse Recipe
240g plain all-purpose flour
180g unsalted butter, cold and diced.
A pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp ice cold water
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, place flour, butter and salt and pulse until you get coarse crumbs.
While continuing to pulse, pour ice water through the spout and mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
Knead for 2-3 minutes and form into a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
slice of heaven!
This tart is also my entry into Hay Hay it's Donna Day #5 hosted by Miss Tami of the delectable blog, Running with Tweezers. She's a great writer and photographer and her blog is always a great source of humour and food inspiration. Check out the round up soon!