Goat Cheese Pesto Tart


Finished PhotAt the retail shop, the clientele loved this Goat Cheese Pesto Tart.  It is the perfect example of a savory tart and we did many of them.  This Goat Cheese Pesto Tart came from my love of peppers and basil – in this case,  pesto. While I appreciate goat cheese, I find it very astringent and usually cut it with cream cheese to mellow it out as I have done here.  I used this filling for small crostadas which we used as appetizers. We crossed slivers of red and yellow pepper on the top and they made a dazzling display on a tray when passed.  They can be made, as can the tart, ahead and frozen.

For the crostadas, I would freeze them without the peppers on top, adding them after they had been reheated.  I particularly like to use this filling for the crostadas as it didn’t lose its shape when heated.  We would pipe it on with a large star tip.

This Goat Cheese tart demonstrates the use of savory tarts in your repertoire.  These can also be made in individual servings if you desire.  The number of servings depends upon the size of your pans.

Because I believe strongly in adding flavor to every element of the dish, I vary the crusts depending upon what I am putting in them. This asiago crust is a great example.  It’s so good on its own, it can be rolled out, cut, pricked and served as snack crackers.  I sometimes make extra dough just for that purpose.

This is a press in crust because you literally press it into the pan. These are often easier than roll out crusts.   I divide the dough for the sides and the bottom.  With the side and bottom separated, it is important to seal the seams well.  Despite that, areas sometimes separate from each other and require patching.  This is why it is important to save a small walnut-sized piece of the dough.  You will see in the photos that my crust did separate and how it is fixed.  This crust is sturdier than an American pie crust and doesn’t get soggy as easily as a flaky crust.

This Goat Cheese Tart is special any time of the year, but particularly in the summer with fresh basil and peppers in abundance.

Asiago Crust for the Goat Cheese Pesto Tart
Crust ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour (210 grams or 7 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese (45 grams or 1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 stick +1 tablespoon butter, cold and cut into pieces (125 grams or 4 1/2 ounces)
5 tablespoons ice water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray an 11” tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Place the flour, cheese, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a processor fitted with a steel blade. Dry ingred. in processor Process briefly to mix. Processor - dry ingred mixedCircle the butter over the dry ingredientsButter in and process until mealy. Butter cut in With the processor running, add the ice waterpouring water in and process until it forms a ball.Dough balled upReserve a small amount of the dough.  Divide the dough in half. dough dividedSet aside one half.  Divide the remaining piece in half again. Shape one of the pieces into a thin rollhalf side rope inand lay it along the inside of the rim of the baking sheet.  Repeat with the second piece, overlapping the edges. 2nd half of dough on sideoverlapping doughPress these rolls firmly along the edge of the pan. Pressing in 1Press the bottom of the pastry firmly against the bottom of the pan so the edge of the dough is straight from top to bottom. pressing 2Crust edgesFlatten the second half of the dough into a circle and place it in the middle of the bottom of the pan. Bottom inPress it outwards toward the side. Pressing bottom out

Pressing bottom out 2Seal it to the side crust making sure the seam has been well sealed at the edges so it does not pull apart.Sealing edgeJoined edgesFinish the top edge by pressing down on the top of the crust.Cleaning top edgeSpray a piece of foil andSpraying foil place it, sprayed side down, into the tart shell fitting it well into the edges. foil in panFill with beans to the top andbeans in pan bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights andPar baked crust continue baking until golden, about 8 minutes more.  If the side has separated from the bottom at some point,cracked edgepatch it.  Using the reserved dough, roll very thinly and place it covering the crack.  This is easiest to do while the shell is warm. Patching edge 1 With a small offset pointed spatula, work it into the crack. fixing edge 2

fixing edge 3Repeat to fill any cracks.  If the bottom has cracked, simply work a bit of the reserved dough into the crack with the spatula.  Cool.

PestoPesto ingred.

2 1/2 ounces basil leaves
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic
Scant 1/2 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Pull the leaves off the basil stems.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups.  Place all but the oil in the bowl of a food processor.Pesto ingred. in processor  Process to chop finely.Pesto processed  Add the olive oil down the feed tube while the processor is running. Oil in Pesto Use only enough oil to make a thick paste.Pesto - pasteYield:  Approximately 10 tablespoons. Drop leftovers  by tablespoons onto waxed paper.

Pesto dollops Freeze; store in a freezer bag or container.

Filling for the Goat Cheese Pesto Tart
Filling Ingredients

2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
1/2 pound goats cheese, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup grated asiago

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, spray it and set aside.

Cut the peppers in half.Pepper cut in half  Quarter and seed the peppers. Red pepper cleaned Drizzle with olive oil and toss.  Place the peppers on the prepared pan.  Roast for 15 minutes; turn them over and roast for 15 minutes more or until the skin separates from the pepper.  Cool while preparing the filling. Roasted PepperRaosted pepper Remove the skin from the peppersSkinning red pepper and blot dry if they are at all wet.  Cover the bottom of the shell with the peppers. Peppers in shell Set aside.

Place the goat’s cheese and cream cheese in the bowl of the food processor.Cheeses in processor  Process until creamy and blended. Cheeses processed Add the remaining ingredients. Pesto in Process until completely mixed, scraping as necessary. Pesto in filling processed Pour over the peppers in the shell.  Filling pouring inSmooth in the shell.Filling smoothed outBake for 20 to 25 minutes until set.

Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve the Goat Cheese Pesto Tart hot or room temperature.  This also freezes very well.  Heat at 300°F  for 20 to 25 minutes to thaw and heat.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to take a look at:

Stuffed Italian Bread (Pane Bianco)
Bacon and Cheddar Popovers

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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8 thoughts on “Goat Cheese Pesto Tart

  1. manisha

    Will make this for special supper planned on the 9th…my shoppping list is ready :)

    Thank you sooo much Helen.

  2. sallybr

    Another masterpiece! You are such a natural teacher… This would be outstanding in single servings – or small servings. I have a hamburger bun baking pan that could work quite well. Something to consider for a dinner party

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Sally: I agree completely that these would be marvelous for a dinner party or a luncheon with a salad and some fruit. Thanks for the comment on my teaching. I love teaching and it is very satisfying to know people are excited to get the blog and that they use the recipes or other information.

  3. Mari gold

    Again you came up with an outstanding idea. I have been slowing down on cooking and baking, but how can I when I read such a recipe? I will be trying very shortly. m

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Mari – hope you have the basil and peppers in your garden. Because I have so little time to attend to gardening, although I love it, I didn’t plant this year. However, one thing I can’t live without is my basil so a pot sits by my front door where it basks in the sun.

  4. Amy Burdge

    WOW! I just made this, and I just may never be the same again. The filling itself would make a delightful spread. I’m seriously in love with this, and can’t wait to take it to our girl’s day at the pool tomorrow.

    1. Helen S. Fletcher Post author

      Thanks for letting me know Amy. I agree, we used this filling countless ways and it was always a hit. So glad you liked it too.

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