I know what you’re thinking. “STOP WITH THE TARTS ALREADY!!! PASTRY FREAKS ME OUT!!!” Sorry. I can’t help it. I have been utterly obsessed with finding unique ways to put my dinner in a pastry crust, and this carrot and goat cheese tart is one of the few that I managed to photograph before devouring. If you read the title and came only for the photos (and my cunning wit, of course) because you’re goat cheese averse… I get it. I used to be just like you! I thought goat cheese was gross: I avoided it like the plague. My boyfriend forced me to give it another chance (I think he probably snuck it into a salad somewhere down the line) and I found myself enjoying the creamy texture and tang. That said, I know there’s quite a variety of goat cheese out there, and some of them are still too-goaty for me. I like to go for a fresh chevre; a firmer one will crumble into a salad beautifully while a softer one is great as a spread – and especially in this carrot and goat cheese tart recipe!
I was fairly meticulous in my prep work and arrangement of the carrots within the tart because I wanted it to look exactly as I envisioned. To achieve the look above, I measured the distance across the tart shell and shaved of a few millimeters for the border. I sliced one carrot to the exact measurement, and used it as a guide for the others. I also sliced all of my carrots to the correct length, THEN started slicing them in half or in quarters. If your carrots range in diameter – as most carrots do – you’ll probably have to slice some segments in half and others in quarters. Just make sure you don’t have any carrots that measure more than half an inch thick, and your tart should come out fine.
Not a fan of spice? You could absolutely skip the chutney and go for an apricot jam topping instead. Just finish it with some fresh herbs to cut the sweetness a bit.
To make this a complete meal, I tossed some arugula in my finest olive oil and a few squeezes of lemon. I finished the salad with salt, pepper, and some lemon zest. The combination was fresh and filling, but also fairly light – surprising, right?
- 2 C all purpose flour
- 6 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 5 TBSP vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 TBSP minced chives
- 1 tsp table salt
- 4 large carrots
- 6 oz spreadable goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 TBSP jalapeno chutney
- Mise an place, and read this recipe all the way through
- Combine salt, flour, and chives in a large bowl and whisk together
- Add chilled butter and shortening, and toss to coat in the flour.
- Transfer to the bowl of your food processor, if you choose, or proceed to cut by hand using a pastry blender.
- Pulse or cut until the butter is the size of peas, then add the beaten egg and continue to pulse or cut until just combined. The mixture should be crumbly but hold together when squeezed.
- Transfer the crumbs to a rectangular tart pan with removable bottom, and gently press together along the base and sides to form the pastry.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, then remove and dock the bottom of the pastry with a fork 15-20 times.
- Blind bake (put parchment paper on top of the pastry and weight down with beans or pie weights) in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights (CAREFULLY) and bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Spread 6 oz room temperature goat cheese inside the pastry.
- Cut carrots to the correct length for your tart pan, then quarter or halve the segments so that no piece has a width greater than half an inch.
- Assemble the carrots as desired and press gently to ensure that the carrots are surrounded by goat cheese.
- Brush the tart with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes on the top rack of the oven until carrots are tender.
- Heat chutney in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it, then brush over the warm tart.
- Allow the tart to cool on a wire rack until the tart pan is cool enough to handle, then remove the tart from the pan, slice, and serve.