Green Grape Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

I must thank French chef-owner Jean-Charles Baron of the restaurant Toile à Beurre in Ancenis for sharing his method of reducing green grapes to a thick syrup and using it in place of sugar to endow the creamy custard with a subtle grapey flavor.

Additional green grapes are sautéed to bring up their flavor by light caramelization, then cooled and tumbled into a partially baked tart shell. I like to use fruity Thompson seedless, light Chasselas, or aromatic Muscat grapes. All these varieties are available at one time or another during the year, which means you can make this delicious tart right up to Christmas.

Ingredients

  • Flaky Pastry, prepared, but fennel seeds omitted
  • 3 pounds seedless green grapes (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream Pinch of fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest, or more to taste

Method

  1. Make the pastry crust. Use three-quarters of the dough. Save the remainder for some other purpose. (Scraps can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.)
  2. Butter a 10½- or 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lighdy floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch thin round. Fit the dough into the prepared pan; press the dough gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pan without stretching and trim off the overhang. Refrigerate the prepared shell for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Puree two-thirds of the grapes in a food processor and press through a sieve to remove their skins. In a 9-inch nonstick skillet, sauté the remaining grapes in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until glazed and light brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the grapes to a plate and let cool. Add the sieved grape juice to the skillet juices and boil down to ⅓ cup. Let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell in several places with a fork. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, rice, or dried beans. Place on a baking tile or the bottom rack of the oven to bake for 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
  5. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F. In a food processor, whirl the whole eggs, egg yolk, cream, salt, grated lemon zest, and cold reduced grape juice until well blended; pour into a pint measuring cup or other container with a lip.
  6. Arrange the grapes in the prebaked tart shell in a single layer and place on a baking sheet. Set in the oven on a baking stone or the lowest rack. Slowly and carefully pour the custard mixture over the grapes. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the tart cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.