French Friday ~ Gerard's mustard tart

Gerard's Mustard Tart

I had never heard of a mustard tart before picking up a copy of Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book, Around My French Table. That recipe caught my eye even before I read the October schedule over at French Fridays With Dorie. Just the name “mustard tart” got my imagination going, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

Now, I don’t bake pies and pastries very often. I am what I like to call pie-crust challenged, and that disorder carries over to tart crusts. I do well mixing the dough. I understand completely the chemistry of flour, butter, and liquid. I know it’s important to not over-mix the flour and butter, and that a properly chilled dough results in a flakier crust. I’ve read Julia’s and Dorie’s books. I watch Alton Brown.

It’s the rolling out and transferring the dough to the pan that freaks me out. (And just for the record, I don’t do well with scissors, either.)

I dove in with anticipation, though, because I really, really wanted to taste a mustard tart.

As I expected, I mangled the crust a bit. Was that a self-fulfilling prophecy? Most likely. (Did you notice in the photo above that the edge on the left is quite a bit fatter than the edge on the right?)

But that tart? It was absolutely delicious. The mustard really shines without being overwhelming, and it complements the carrots and leeks very nicely. Jim loved it. Max ate three slices. And my sister Michelle ate two. Gus, on the other hand (who helped me make the dough for the crust), all but boycotted the tart because I used Dijon and grainy mustard instead of yellow American mustard. I wonder how that would have worked out.

I see the tomato variation in our very near future.

Be sure to check out everyone’s posts about the mustard tart, and check out Dorie’s back story about Gerard and his tart.

Next Week: spicy Vietnamese chicken noodle soup.
Last Week: gougères.

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24 thoughts on “French Friday ~ Gerard's mustard tart

  1. What a lovely photo! Would you mind sharing what camera you use? I’ve just started food blogging and am in the market for something other than my iphone camera!

  2. Yes, getting the pastry in the pan is the hardest part. I will tell you the simplest way to do it. Roll the dough out on one piece of parchment paper. Flour under it every once in a while, but not at the very end. Flip the parchment over the tart/pie pan. Center it. Gently peel off the parchment, working off any parts that are stuck. Then you can ease it down into the pan.

    This is by far, the easiest way I have found and I bake a lot! Here is a photo demo on my blog.

    http://porterhouse.typepad.com/porter_house/2007/03/pie_making.html

    It looks wonderful though. Delicious!

  3. Thank you, Laura. I have a Canon 40D, and I really do love it. I shoot food with primarily an 85mm 1.4 lens (it lets in a lot a of wonderful light!).

    Becca, thanks so much for posting your crust tips! That will be very helpful when I make the tomato tart!

    I look forward to cooking with you both! (And I’ll be sure to check out your blogs today! It’s so fun reading about everyone’s adventures!)

  4. Your tart looks gorgeous! And I didn’t notice the disparity in crust thicknesses until you mentioned it in your post. Oh – and the tomato version is fabulous, too – you’ll love it.

  5. I have really rarely made my own crust. That is one of the best things about a group like this you try all sorts of things you might never even think of trying. I’m now a convert to making my own crusts and I feel much more confident to try more some of the more advanced baking techniques. I loved your pictures too. I’m looking for a new camara but I don’t want to spend money on one before I really know what it is I want. Sounds like you like yours.

  6. wow! yours looks like the photo in the book! and i’m glad you liked it. i’m not a big dough person either and had a hard time transerring it to the pan myself. i’m in the process of making mine right now so wish me luck!

  7. I had to roll up, rechill, and roll out the dough 3 times to get it right and I still had uneven crust. I needn’t have bothered as you said, it tasted sublime! Great job!!!

  8. The picture of your tart looks absolutely beautiful with all of the colors in the carrots and leeks. I agree with you about the mellow flavor of the mustard. It was just the right amount to give a complimentary flavor to the tart w/out being overwhelming. We loved it too!

  9. What a beautiful rustic tart! Incredible photograph. I love the way you cut your leeks and carrots! I love the freeform way you placed them on the tart. And the pepper sprinkles are just beautiful. I had never heard of a mustard tart either. No one I knew had. I didn’t really have a problem with the mustards,…its the carrots that are grossing me out! I’m baking my tart shell now, so hopefully when it is all done, it will be delicious (like everything from Dorie!)!

  10. I feel your pain because I have such angst about making tart shells, but yours turned out great! I can’t wait to make the carrot and leek tart.

  11. I think you should be extremely proud of your tart — it’s beautiful and looks so very inviting. I love how you enumerated how many slices each person had!

  12. Funny, I thought “mustard???” too. But wow, what combination with the vegetables. I agree – I’m going “freeform” next time with the veggies – so artsy and rustic! A magnificent tart you have there!

  13. Gorgeous photo! After two years of Tuesdays with Dorie I can almost make pie crusts in my sleep. Soon you will too.

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