This recipe for me is the ultimate quiche – not an everyday quiche but one worthy of celebration. Comte is a French cooked curd cheese that is also known as comte gruyere. Good comte is aged from eight to 18 months and has a semi-firmtexture and a deep nutty flavour. It is an incredible cheese to eat as is, and responds well when used in cooking. It is also one of my favourite cheeses to pair with wine.
180g cold unsalted butter
240g plain flour
pinch of salt
endive salad to serve (recipe here)
2 egg yolks
300ml thickened cream
200g creme fraiche
175g comte gruyere, finely grated
175g parmesan, finely grated
pinch of salt and cayenne pepper
1. To make the tart dough, dice cold butter into small pieces and return the butter to the fridge as you weigh the other ingredients.
2. In a food processor, pulse the cold butter, flour and salt few times to form a coarse crumb. With the engine running, quickly add the water and turn off the machine. Tip the dough onto a clean bench and knead gently to bring the dough together. It is important not to overwork the dough.
3. Wrap the formed dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour. (This step can be done a day ahead.)
4. Prepare a round 24cm x 2.5cm deep tart tin by brushing the tin with a little melted butter.
5. To make the tart case, dust the bench with a little flour and roll out the dough about three millimetres thick, large enough for the edges to overhang the tart tin. Carefully lay the dough into the tart tin and press into the corners, leaving any excess dough hanging over the edges. Pierce the base of the tart a few times with a fork and return the tart case to the fridge to rest for an hour.
6. To bake the tart, preheat the oven to 170C. Line the tart with baking paper and fill the tart with rice or rock salt. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, carefully remove the rice or rock salt and baking paper and return the tart to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden. If the pastry still feels a little moist, return the tart to the oven once more and cook for five more minutes. Remove the tart case from the oven and trim the overhanging pastry edges with a serrated knife.
7. Reduce the oven to 140C.
8. Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, cream and creme fraiche in large mixing bowl. Fold the cheese into the egg mix and set aside. Place the cooked tart shell in the oven on a baking tray. Pour the tart filling into the cooked tart shell (this will help to avoid spills) and bake for 20 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 120C and cook for another 30 minutes or until the tart is cooked. The best way to check the filling has set is to tap the tray gently. The filling should wobble as one.
9. To serve, slice the tart into eight x six-centimetre wedges. Warm the tart in a moderate oven for five minutes before serving on dinner plates with endive salad alongside.
If you like this recipe, try Andrew's comte cheese custard.