Tag Archives: christine ferber

tart a-palooza

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clementine marmalade

after a successful venture with nigella’s clementine cake recipe, i got to thinking about stewing up homemade clementine marmalade.  the thinking led to doing and lo and behold, i found myself hovered over the stove slowly stirring a pot of clementines with the marvellous recipe book (mes confitures) of christine ferber as my guide. Continue reading

a summer stone fruit tart

sometimes i get a bit carried away in the produce aisle, especially in the summer time.  i end up buying more fruit than i can consume, and rather than throw it away, i make it into tarts.  i had a whole bunch of apricots, pluots and cherries in the fridge.  i washed them, sliced them, pitted them and then tossed them onto a pate brisee tart shell.  about 45 minutes later, i had myself a big bulging tart!

Summer Stone Fruit Tart
(makes one 9.5 to 10 inch tart)

Pate Brisee with Egg Yolk – adapted from Christine Ferber’s Mes Tartes

AP Flour 500g
Butter 375g, cubed
Sugar 2 tsp
Cold Milk 100g
Salt ½ tsp
Egg yolks 2
  1. Pour flour, sugar and butter into the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Dissolve salt into cold milk.
  4. Add in egg yolks and cold milk.  Pulse until a dough barely forms.  Do not overmix. [note: the addition of egg yolks makes for a sturdier tart].  You can take it out in its crumbly state and press it into a disc with your hands. Then, wrap in plastic, and let rest overnight.

Preparing the Tart

Pate Brisee About half recipe above
Stone Fruit (peaches, plums, pluots, apricots, cherries) About 2-3 lbs, pitted and sliced
Sugar ¼ cup
Cinnamon 1 tsp
  1. Roll-out the dough on a well-floured surface until it is about 13 inches wide and about 1/16th inch thick.
  2. Fit the dough into a 10 inch tart ring.  Leave about 1/2 inch outside of the ring and pinch with your index and thumb until it forms a rusticly, crimped edge.  Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork.
  3. Place the raw tart shell in the freezer and pre-heat oven to 350ºF.  When the oven reaches 350ºF, bake the tart shell for 15 minutes and then remove from oven to cool.
  4. Toss together stone fruit with half of the sugar.
  5. When the tart shell has cooled, pour the fruit into the shell and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and sugar on top.
  6. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is fragrant and the shell is a rich golden brown.

smoked salmon risotto tart

i took this picture on the fly as i was plating about 20 other dishes for my family thanksgiving get-together.  it’s not a great picture but the flavour of this savoury tart is exquisite — a crisp tart shell filled with scottish smoked salmon and a rich arborio rice filling.  even my uncle and parents, who haven’t got an affinity for non-asian dishes, went back for seconds.

the tart is fantastic for large gatherings.  it can be made weeks in advance and kept frozen.  just pop it into the oven for 30 minutes when ready to serve.

Smoked Salmon Risotto Tart
(makes one 9.5 inch tart; adapted from Christine Ferber’s book Mes Tartes

Pastry Dough 300g (you can use pate brisee or pate sucre)
Smoked Salmon 150g to 300g
Crème Fraiche 3.5 tbsp
Eggs 2 large ones
Dill 1 bunch, finely chopped
Risotto Filling:
Milk 500g
Arborio Rice 60g
Butter 25g (2 tbsp)
Eggs 1 large one
Egg yolks 3 yolks
Crème Fraiche 4 tbsp
Salt and Pepper To taste
  1. Prepare the risotto filling first and allow it to cool:  Combine milk, rice, salt and pepper in a small saucepan.  Bring it to a simmer over low heat.  Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until the rice has softened.  Most of the liquid should have been absorbed.  Then, add in the egg, yolks, creme fraiche and butter.  Cook for 30 more seconds.  Transfer to a bowl, wrap with plastic and allow to cool.
  2. Blind bake the tart shell: Bake the prepared / frozen tart shell (see link for instructions for making pate sucre) for 15 minutes at 350°F.  Then, using a pastry brush, glaze the tart shell with a little egg wash.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.  The egg wash will make the tart more “moisture-proof.”
  3. Fill the tart: when the tart shell has cooled, line the bottom of the tart with smoked salmon.  In a bowl mix the creme fraiche with the eggs, then add the risotto filling and chopped dill. Pour the concoction over the smoked salmon.  At this point, you can bake it immediately, or freeze it until you’re ready to bake it.
  4. Bake the tart: Set the oven to 425°F.  Set the tart on the middle rack of the oven and bake it for about 25 to 30 minutes.  The tart shell and risotto filling should be lightly browned.

fig and orange tart à la christine ferber


in another life, i’d be christine ferber living in the enchanted alsatian village of niedermorschwir.  i’d wake up, smell the crisp alsatian air, waddle out into the alsatian market place, and be instantly inspired to make an alsatian tart.  new combinations of fruits and nuts, herbs and cheeses would spring alive around me in vivid colours.   i’d have published countless tart recipes in infinite variations. i’d be giving birth to new flavour profiles with the fecundity of the duggar family.  making tarts would be in my blood, my dna, and my soul.  i’d be snow white and her more than seven tarts…and my best friend would be none other than pierre herme.

living out in tribeca, i’ve got the greenmarket on greenwich street to look forward to every wednesday and saturday, the itinerant fruit stand on the corner of greenwich and chambers, whatever produce whole foods decides to stock for a particular week, plus my personal indoor garden. while my fig tree has sprouted about 20 still-green figs, i decided to spare my babies and buy a pint of figs from the fruit stand this morning.  they were cheap, in season, and perfect for russeling up my version of ms. ferber’s fig and orange tart.   (note: hers utilizes creme fraiche, semi-puff pastry, and walnuts — i don’t live in the enchanted village of niedermorschwir, okay?!)

Tribeca Fig and Orange Tart
(makes 1 nine-inch tart; my tart is a cross between ferber’s old bachelor’s tart and her fig and orange tart with walnuts from her book Mes Tartes)

Pastry Dough enough to make 1 nine-inch tart. i used pâte sucrée. in ferber’s original recipe, she suggests a rich flaky pastry with praline
paste and hazelnuts.
Almond Cream 200g. i used the recipe from the french pear tart
Fresh Figs 6
Fresh Oranges 1-2
Sugar ¼ cup
  1. Roll-out the pastry dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick and lift it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cut a 9.5 to 10 inch circle in the center of the dough.
  2. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out enough hearts using the left over scraps to completely line the edge of the circle.
  3. Moisten the the edge of the circle with cold water and gently press the hearts onto the circle.  If your dough has gotten too warm, it may be easiest to freeze the roll-out dough for five minutes before transferring the hearts onto the circle.
  4. While you are heating the oven to 350ºF, let the pastry shell rest in the freezer.
  5. Blind bake the shell for 10 minutes and then let it cool.
  6. When the shell has cooled, spread an even layer of almond creme on the bottom of the tart.
  7. Clean and dry the figs.  Remove the stems and cut the figs into quarters.
  8. Peel the oranges and remove the white membrane.  You want the orange sections without the membrane.
  9. Place the fig quarters and orange creme on top of the almond creme in an alternating patter.
  10. When the tart has been completely covered with fruit, sprinkle it with the sugar. I also sprinkled on some sliced almonds because I couldn’t resist. I also had some extra hearts, so I stuck those into the tart as well.
  11. Bake the tart at 350ºF for about 40-45 minutes.
  12. You can coat the oranges with some apricot glaze (optional). The figs don’t need it as they produce their own glaze.