Monday, April 12, 2010

Chess Tart

Charisse's mom brought over the Easter edition of Martha Stewart Magazine conspicuously on the same day Charisse told her all about this new kitchen toy she'd bought, a tart pan. Low and behold, right in the middle of the magazine was a great recipie for a tart. Coincidince? We think not. Now for anyone who doesn't have one, and wouldn't know where to find one or what it looks like even if they did find it (ahem, Eric) a tart pan is basically a short sided pie tin with an edge that falls away from the base. You can see the tart on its base with the edge taken off to the right. A tart is something thats actually fairly easy to make, especially compared to a pie or cake, so having a tart pan around is probably a great idea. They are inexpensive and come non-stick so they are easy to care for. Yet another dessert that is super easy to throw together and most people who cook on a semi regular basis probably have everything just sitting around already. .

This tart is a take on a classic southern dessert called chess pie, which is made with sugar, eggs, butter, and sugar. The thing that makes this tart special is the cornmeal you add to the filling, which creates an almost firm, gooey custard (yes oxymoron, but still true) and the result is absolutely amazing. It is super sweet and tastes almost like homemade vanilla caramel. This dessert is a great ending to any meal and even die hard chocolate lovers will ask for seconds. 

Pictures and Recipe after the break

Tart Shell
What You Will Need

1 1/4 cups of ground vanilla wafers
5 Tbs unsalted butter (melted)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350*

Spray your tart pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside

In a bowl mix all of the ingredients and press into tart pan, making sure to come up the sides for a nice crust.  Place the shell in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until set. 

Once the shell is set, place on a jelly role pan and cook 12 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool

Reduce oven temperature to 325*

Tart Filling
What You Will Need

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)

Mix the dry ingredients together, breaking up all the clumps. Whisk in the eggs, yolk, vanilla and butter.  Pour the filling into crust shell and bake 35 minutes until the edge is golden brown and the center is almost set.  Let cool and refrigerate. 

Serve chilled or at room temperature

adapted from Martha Stewart magazine

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