Comté cheese and chard tart

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc. 

This dish is a tribute to the magnificent region of France where I come from. Comté is one of the finest cheeses in the world and it can be used in so many dishes. For this one, do not buy an aged Comté as it would be too salty; a one year- old cheese would be just perfect. The tart is very simple. You do not need to pre-bake the pastry, just scatter the chard into the raw pastry case, pour in the filling, top with the grated cheese and bake.

Preparation: 30 mins, plus 1 hour resting.

Special equipment: 21cm tart ring (2.5cm high), baking stone (optional), peel (optional).

Swisschardtart1 MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the shortcrust pastry
200g Pain flour
100g Usalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 pinch Sea salt
1 Organic/free-range medium egg
1 tbsp Cold water
For the filling
30g Unsalted butter
2 Medium swiss chard stalks (200g), cut into 2cm batons
60ml Water
1 pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Organic/free-range medium eggs
100ml Whole milk
100ml Whipping cream
5 rasps Nutmeg (optional)
200g Comté cheese, grated

Cooking Method

To make the pastry

Put the flour, butter and salt into a large bowl and rub lightly together using your fingertips until you have a sandy texture (*1). Make a well in the centre and add the egg and water. With your fingertips, gradually work the egg and water (*2) into the flour and butter mixture; then at the last moment when the eggs have been absorbed, bring the dough together and press to form a ball (*3). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently with your palms for just 10 seconds. Break off 20-30g of dough, tightly wrap in cling film and refrigerate for later (to tuck in the dough). Flatten the remaining dough into a round, 2cm thick (*4), and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 20–30 minutes before rolling out.

To roll out the dough

Place in the middle of a large sheet of cling film, about 40cm square, and cover with another sheet of cling film, of similar dimensions. Roll out the dough to a circle, 3mm thick (*5).

To line the tart ring

Place the tart ring on a peel or flat tray lined with greaseproof paper. Take off the top layer of cling film and discard, then lift the dough by picking up the corners of the cling film and invert it into the tart ring, removing the cling film. Ease the pastry into the ring with your fingers and then tuck the dough into the edges using the little ball of dough, ensuring it is neatly moulded into the shape of the ring. Trim the edges of the tart by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the ring. Now, push the pastry edge gently up by pressing between your index finger and thumb all around the side of the tart ring, to raise the edge 2mm above the ring (*6). With a fork, lightly prick the bottom of the pastry case (*7). Place the tart case in the fridge for 30 minutes to relax and firm up the pastry (*8).

To prepare for baking

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Place a baking stone or baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven.

To cook the swiss chard

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium low heat, then add the chard batons, water and some seasoning. Stir, then cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until the chard pieces are soft and melting, but holding their shape. Drain and reserve.

To assemble and bake the tart

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and cream and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, if using. Scatter the chard pieces evenly over the base of the tart case. Slide the tart directly onto the hot baking stone or tray in the oven and gently pour in the creamy egg mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly souffléd and golden brown (*9). Leave to rest and cool slightly for 10 minutes before serving.


120 154 KS Paperback

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.