Pate Brisée is French term for a short crust, sweet or savory, and used for many pies, tarts, quiches and more. A standard pie crust could be used instead.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, for sweet dough or
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped, for savory dough
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1” pieces
4 tablespoons ice water, or more if needed
In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Place mix into wide bowl. Add 3 Tb. water and toss to combine. If needed, add more water 1 TB. at a time until dough just comes together. Don’t overwork dough, be light and gentle for a flaky crust.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax. At this point you can also freeze the dough for later use.
For each disk of pastry, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry to fit it into a 8 or 9 inch tart pan. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure it is the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than your pan.
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll on the top of your tart pan. Never pull pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently lay in pan and with a small floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. With a thumb up movement, again press dough into pan. Roll rolling pin over top again to get rid of any extra pastry. Prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
To blind bake (bake without ingredients) the tart shell: Preheat oven to 400° and place rack in center of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack. Proceed with desired recipe that calls for a pre-baked shell.
Makes two – 9 inch tart shells.
Store these tomatoes in a jar covered with olive oil, use a lemon olive oil if desired. For a quick appetizer see below.
1 pound Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
1 teaspoon thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 350∫F. Arrange the tomato halves cut side up and close together on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and herb. Drizzle over tomatoes and bake until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled but still retain some moisture, about one hour.
Let cool completely. Tomatoes can be stored in a glass jar, cover tomatoes with olive oil, seal and refrigerate.
For sauce: Process in a food processor and warm in a large saute pan.
For a quick appetizer, stuff roasted tomato halves with the following.
Mix together 1 log of goat cheese, 2 Tb. fresh chopped herbs and 1 -2 Tb. of heavy cream.
Mix until goat cheese is soft but not runny.
Spoon or pipe herbed goat cheese onto dried tomato, serve with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
There are many ways to save your harvest and if you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with here are some ideas.
First and foremost is water bath canning, I love this because it means that I can store tomatoes on the shelf in my pantry for the year. Fairly easy to do but when it’s hot and humid out like it has been this summer FORGET IT!
As many of you already know, I like to freeze my tomatoes also so later when it’s cool I can make sauce or unfreeze and can them to make more room in the freezer for up and coming dinners. Freezing tomatoes is the fastest way to get things done, wash, and dry then freeze on a baking sheet until frozen solid, pop into a freezer bag and you are done for the day! You can remove one or four at a time, whatever you need and as they begin to defrost, which is almost right away, the skin will slip off easily.
My second favorite is to make Oven Roasted Tomatoes, although it does require having the oven on for some length of time. I love to dry my cherry tomatoes and then float them in a good olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Chopped in a salad, in a bruschetta or top on a pizza, they pack a flavorful punch. Fill up your baking sheet and get started right away!
1 1⁄4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
2 – 3 tablespoons ice water
1⁄4 cup finely diced ham
2 -3 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1⁄2 cup shredded cheese, such as Chedderella
4 large eggs
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream or half and half
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Add flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is pea size.
Place the mixture into a wide bowl and add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together. Don’t overwork the dough or it will be tough, not flaky. Once the dough comes together in a ball, divide it into two pieces, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400° while the dough is chilling.
Dough can be wrapped well at this point and frozen for up to three months. Let the dough defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Roll one chilled disk out on a floured counter or rolling mat, lifting and moving the dough every few rolls to help prevent sticking. Add only enough flour to the counter to keep the dough from sticking.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the tart pan.
Place your pan on top of the dough to make sure it is the correct size, it should be slightly larger than the pan, then roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll over your pan. Gently lift and lay the dough to fit the pan, never pull the dough to stretch it.
Lightly press the dough into the pan, roll your rolling pin over the top edge of the tart or pie pan and remove excess pastry. Prick the dough well with a fork.
Cut a piece of foil a little larger than the tart pan, butter the shiny side and place butter side down onto the dough. Press so the foil lays against the dough snugly, add another piece of foil if it doesn’t cover the entire crust.
Bake the crust for 20 minutes, remove beans and foil, bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before filling. (Leave oven on).
Boil potatoes until knife tender (when a knife can slip into the potato effortlessly with a little resistance). Drain and let cool until you’re able to handle them. Slice into disks or chop into a medium dice.
Heat a medium sauté pan, add oil until it covers the bottom of the pan, add potatoes and season with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Sauté potatoes until lightly browned, add ham and cook for about 2 minutes or until browned. Add potato mixture to the bottom of the cooled crust. Add cheese on top of the potato mixture.
Whisk together the eggs and cream, add a little seasoning of salt and pepper, pour over potato and cheese mixture, bake for 30 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned.
Let cool before serving.
The bright star of the season, Meyer Lemons are the sweetest lemons to use in cooking. Thin-skinned, juicy and brightly colored you can use every part of the lemon, well, except maybe the seeds! In season now you can find them in all markets and at your local farmers market. If you have your own tree about now you might be wondering what to do with all those lemons. If you have trouble finding them you can call our friends at Melissa’s Produce and they can fill up your pantry!
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite recipes.
How to choose, store and use beautiful Meyer Lemons
Meyer Lemon Season (Commercial) Nov-May
Home Tree will fruit late Summer-April/May
Choose, Store and Use Meyer Lemons:
Pick lemons that have a smooth, yellow skin with no signs of bruises or cuts. Lemons that are heavy will have more juice in them; unfortunately, Meyer lemons also contain many seeds. Easily seeded if cut in half, most of the seeds are centered in the middle of the fruit.
Store lemons in a bowl on the counter in a cool place with no direct contact with the sun. If the lemons begin to become soft, refrigerate and use within a few days. If using refrigerated lemons, let them come to room temperature if possible. Roll all lemons around on the counter to help free up the juice.
Extra lemon juice can be poured into ice cube trays, frozen and then placed into a freezer bag and used within 6 months.
Meyer lemon trees grow well in pots in So. California, use a fast draining soil. They are hungry fellows so feed with an organic citrus fertilizer according to directions. They love the So. California sunshine but not so much our sometimes-windy weather. Meyer lemons like to be moist but not wet, deep infrequent watering and don’t let water sit in the liner or pot. If the weather threatens to freeze, water well and cover with a blanket or row cover at night, be very careful not to know off the fruit or flowers on the tree. Feed with an organic citrus food as directed and keep a close watch for citrus pests. Fruit will hold a long time on the tree, make sure they are nice and yellow before picking and after fruiting a little light pruning, if necessary will keep them compact and tidy.
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker
- 4 pounds mixed apples, choose a variety of sweet apples, wash, peel, core chopped into chunks.
- Apple Juice, real apple juice not concentrate or white grape juice (read the label)
- Sugar (only if your apples aren’t very sweet)
- Place the chopped apples into a large saucepan and add about 1” of apple juice. Cook until the apples are soft and tender. If there is excess liquid after cooking the apples you can drain this off and save to drink as ‘juice’, that’s exactly what it is.
- Mash the apples with a potato masher or put through a food mill. You could also use a food processor or blender. Add cinnamon to taste and sugar if needed. Keep hot or cool and store in refrigerator for a week. That’s it!