French tomato pie with goat cheese and Imperial IPA beer jelly (or honey)

This is a classic in French cuisine – mustard, tomatoes and cheese layered on a flaky pie crust. This was my first recipe published last year in my blog: Alchimie et gourmandise. We love this pie – we call it the French pizza. I wanted to revisit this classic this summer, and add a little of “je ne sais quoi…”.

As I am working with local craft beer, my idea was to add some Imperial IPA beer jelly to the mustard and to pair this aromatic jelly with goat cheese… A must to try. I hope you will enjoy this French pie with a Canadian twist as much as us.

If you don’t have any beer jelly, don’t worry. You can use also honey or apple cider jelly.

I think it is time to cook, this is my recipe:

Pie crust recipe

Ingredients

250 grams all-purpose organic unbleached flour

125 grams of butter, cubed and very cold

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

100 ml very cold water, plus more is needed

Directions

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and cut it using a pastry cutter (rubbing it in with your fingertips also works in a pinch). Keep working the butter into the dough until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.

Scrape off any residual butter-flour mixture from the pastry cutter, and drizzle in the water.

Gently work the water into the dough with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy but relatively cohesive mass. Give the dough a few kneads with your hands (fewer than 10) so that it forms a rough ball.

Try to work these steps as fast as you can. This is one of the secrets for a flaky crust.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum one hour or overnight. This allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that’s easier to roll out.

The tomato mustard French pie

 Ingredients

100 g of mustard

I use normally a combination (50/50) of artisan whole-grain mustard (not sweet at all) and Maille Dijon Originale mustard. French mustard like Maille is the best choice because it is not sweet and it will pair perfectly with the Imperial IPA beer jelly, honey or apple cider jelly.

1 tablespoon + 4 to 5 teaspoons Imperial IPA beer jelly (or honey or apple cider jelly as an alternative)

If you are using honey or sweet apple cider jelly, put a little less because it is going to be too sweet.

3 large or 5 medium ripe heirloom tomatoes (like candy’s old yellow, green zebra, cavern…)

5 to 6 round slices of goat cheese – 250 g (8 ounces) (like The Tournevent, la fromagerie Hamel, Quebec)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of fresh herbs of Provence (a combination of parsley, marjoram, rosemary, thyme or oregano)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fit the pie crust into a 11-inch pie dish (or smaller size like a 9-inch). With a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the crust.

Precook the crust for 7 to 10 min. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into slices 3-5 mm thick. Lay the slices as on paper towels to remove excess water content in tomatoes if needed

Remove the crust from the oven.

Mix together the two kinds of mustard with one tablespoon of Imperial IPA beer jelly. Spread it over the bottom of the pie crust in an even layer. Cover the mustard with slices of tomato, overlapping in a spiral from the edge to the center. They will slightly shrink while cooking. Then, don’t be afraid to put two layers of tomatoes.

Arrange the slices of goat cheese on top, and add a teaspoon of Imperial IPA beer jelly on each disk of goat cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle the tart with the herbs of Provence.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 450 degree F, or until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.

Remove from the oven and let it to rest for 15 min.

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September is ….Tomato merry-go-around

It was really difficult to choose the recipes I will share with my guesses for this amazing dinner party. I love tomatoes and I cook them in so many different ways… all so yummy. These are some of my favorite recipes, new ones I have developed here in Canada as well as my family’s recipe: “les tomates farcies”. A must!

Join us in September to enjoy a dinner all focusing on tomatoes … savory and sweet … there is no limit!

tomato merry-go-around

Register at The Kingston Social

References for the pictures:

http://www.kireei.com/tomates-y-flores/

http://www.cuisineactuelle.fr/recettes/tomates-farcies-au-boeuf-hache-209505

http://www.showfoodchef.com/2010/08/tomato-canjam.html

French Canadian Tourtière (meat pie) with “Kentucky bastard” Beer Flavor

The first time I have tried the famous tourtière, it was during the carnival of Quebec in one of the oldest house of Quebec (1675), now a restaurant that serves traditional Quebec food: Aux Anciens Canadiens. Pickle and roasted red beets were served as a side dish. It was delicious!

Tourtière is not an exclusivity of Quebec. It is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout Canada as well as in the bordering regions of the United States. In the New England region, especially in Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, the dish was introduced by the late 19th and early 20th century immigrants from Quebec.

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Combine together all the ingredients

From my trip to Quebec, I brought back a cookbook about the traditional cuisine in the different regions of Quebec. And while I was reading the book, I discovered that there is no one correct filling for the famous tourtière; it depends on what is regionally available. In coastal areas, seafood is commonly used, whereas pork, beef, rabbit and game are often included inland.

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Mix together and cook over medium heat

I never made a tourtière when I was in France. We have something similar – le paté en croute et la tourte à la viande (also with vegetable like mushrooms, fish or seafood). You can buy them anywhere in France and they are quite delicious when they are prepared artisanally. Why to do it, we buy them ready to eat.

And may be, because it is prepared by professionals in France, I always felt that it was too difficult or it took too long to prepare, and this until recently. Paul, a friend of mine, who is preparing 6 to 10 pies each year to share with friends during the holiday’s season, inspired me. I was ready to take the leap.

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When the meat is cooked, allow to cool to room temperature

This is Paul toutière’s recipe. I have made some minor changes. It is impossible for me to follow a recipe at 100%, but I kept the essence of his recipe as well as his instructions for the different steps. My conclusion, it is really easy to do. Unbelievable! It is also really delicious; I will do it again, and again. I think it is time to cook, this is my recipe.

Portion size: 8 to 10

Ingredients

900 g lean ground pork (2 pounds)

I doubled the quantity of meat (as well as all the other ingredients). After a first try, I thought it was not enough meat; I wanted to get back my souvenir of the tourtière I have enjoyed in Quebec.

I chose to use pork tenderloin. It is really lean and tasty. I also asked my butcher to grind it for me. America’s test kitchen has shown that freshly ground meat is significantly more tasty and flavorful than the pre-packed ground meat. And this makes a difference!

2 onions, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 bay leaves

4 to 6 fresh sage leaves (alternative: 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage)

120 ml Beer

Paul normally uses boiling water in his recipe. Instead, I have decided to use beer. Pork meat has a mild flavor that picks up whatever seasoning or marinades you use and I wanted to give some pep to my tourtière by using one of my favorite beers – or more precisely my first barleywine:

Kentucky bastard from Nickel Brook

As they explained, they kicked it up a notch with their Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout, aging it in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. The rich chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavors from their Imperial Stout are married together with the vanilla, oak and warming alcohol from bourbon barrels. Together as one, the result is an incredible blend of aroma and taste. And this is true! We really enjoyed this beer, and I wanted to cook with it. My Burgundy roots! The tourtière was my first try; I also used this beer when I cooked a French onion soup. Both were incredible!

Recipe pastry for a 9-inch (23-cm) double crust pie 

300 g flour (150 grams all-purpose flour and 150 g spelt flour)

150 g of butter, cubed and very cold

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

80 ml very cold water, plus more is needed

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.                                                    

Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and cut it using a pastry cutter (rubbing it in with your fingertips also works in a pinch). Keep working the butter into the dough until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.

Scrape off any residual butter-flour mixture from the pastry cutter, and drizzle in the water.

Gently work the water into the dough with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy but relatively cohesive mass. Give the dough a few kneads with your hands (fewer than 10) so that it forms a rough ball. Try to work these steps as fast as you can. This is one of the secrets for a flaky crust.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum 30 minutes or overnight. This allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that’s easier to roll out.

Preparation

In a saucepan, combine pork, onion, beer, salt, black pepper, marjoram, cloves as well as sage and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils; stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 20 minutes.

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Roll out the bigger one and line a 9-inch clay pie pan with it

Remove the bay leaves and sage leaves, and almost all the juice and fat. You can use the juice to prepare a sauce to accompany your tourtière.

Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Allow to cool to room temperature.

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Brush with egg wash

The meat can be prepared one day in advance. Cover it and refrigerate overnight. I did it and it was perfect the day after to assemble the pie and cook it.

With the rack in the lowest position, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (220 degrees C).

On a lightly floured surface, cut dough in two pieces (roughly 60 and 40%). Roll out the bigger one and line a 9-inch (23 cm) clay pie pan with it.

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Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust

Brush with egg wash (whisk an egg up with a splash of cold water or milk until pale yellow and perfectly mixed). Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust.

Roll out remaining dough and cover the tourtière with it. Make an incision in the center. Press the edge to seal with a fork or your fingers. Brush with egg wash.

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Roll out remaining dough and cover the tourtière with it

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.

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Make an incision in the center. Press the edge to seal with a fork or your fingers

Tourtière can be made up to 2 to 3 days in advance. We have kept our pie covered with aluminum foil in the fridge and we have reheated it at 250 degree F for 20 to 30 minute before to enjoy it.

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Brush with egg wash

As I said previously, the taste of this tourtière is incredible. We enjoyed every bite, we were in paradise for gourmands. A real alchemy between the pork flavor, the different herbs and the complexity of the “Kentucky Bastard” beer!

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Ready for the gournands!

Bon Appetite!

My Late-Summer Heirloom Tomatoes Pie

I love cooking tomatoes. It reminds me of my childhood, the summer season in France as well as my vacation with my two grandmothers and the pleasure to cook and preserve foods together. I am from Burgundy, France and I grew up on a farm. My two grandmothers were amazing cooks, in a different way. Grandmother Lucie was like Julia Child, a lot of butter, cream and eggs. She went to culinary school and cooked for a wealthy family before WWII. Grandmother Adele was a goddess for preserving and canning the taste of summer.  Impressive heritage!

This means that I have a passion for good ingredients and tasty foods. When combine together, they can create a surprising alchemy that will titillate our taste buds. This is the kind of comfort food I like. My partner calls this pie, the French tomatoes pizza pie. I take this as a compliment!

The secret… use local, organic (if possible) and fresh products. For the crust, go creative! Use a combination of locally produced (or not) whole-grain flours. It will taste nutty with a deep and spicy aroma, which will work perfectly with mustard, tomatoes, fresh herbs and cheese. It will taste so good that you will think there is bacon or some sort of meat sauce inside… not at all. This is the secret of good alchemy!

Ready for a new experience, it is time to cook now…

This is the recipe for a 9- to 11-inch pie. First, we will start with the crust and then we will assemble the different ingredients to create this gorgeous French tomatoes mustard pie. Our late-summer heirloom tomatoes pie, when it still possible to taste the gifts of summer.

Pie crust recipe

This is my grandmother Lucie recipe; I keep the same proportions for flour and fat (2 for 1) and I go creative. I like to experiment new combinations to improve the taste as well as the nutritional value.

Ingredients

250 g flour (I used for this pie a mix of 50 g all-purpose organic unbleached flour, 125 g of red fife flour and 75 g of barley flour)

125 g of butter, cubed and very cold

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

75 ml very cold water, plus more is needed

Directions

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and cut it using a pastry cutter (rubbing it in with your fingertips also works in a pinch). Keep working the butter into the dough until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.

Scrape off any residual butter-flour mixture from the pastry cutter, and drizzle in the water.

Gently work the water into the dough with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy but relatively cohesive mass. Give the dough a few kneads with your hands (fewer than 10) so that it forms a rough ball. Try to work these steps as fast as you can. This is one of the secrets for a flaky crust.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum one hour or overnight. This allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that’s easier to roll out.

The tomatoes mustard French pie

Ingredients

100 g of mustard (I used a combination of artisan grainy brown mustard and Maille Dijon Originale mustard)

3 large or 5 medium ripe heirloom tomatoes (like candy’s old yellow, green zebra, cavern)

100 g of grated artisan cheese curds (I like Monforte Dairy here in Toronto)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of fresh herbs of Provence (a combination of marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fit the pie crust into a 11-inch pie dish (or smaller size like a 9-inch). With a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the crust.

Precook the crust for 5 min. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into slices 3-5 mm thick. Lay the slices as on paper towels to remove excess water content in tomatoes if needed.

Remove the crust from the oven.

Mix together the two kinds of mustard. Spread it over the bottom of the pie crust in an even layer. Cover the mustard with slices of tomato, overlapping in a spiral from the edge to the center. They will slightly shrink while cooking. Then, don’t be afraid to put tomatoes.

Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle the tart with the herbs of Provence. Cover with cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degree F then cover with aluminum paper for an additional 20 min. After those 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes open oven door.

Remove from the oven and let it to rest for 15 min.

It is delicious with a green salad. Bon appetite!