This tart is thin, elegant and perfumed with three kinds of ginger, fresh, ground and candied. It unfolds on the palate in layer upon layer of flavor, qualities that engage beautifully with the Madeira that accompanies it.
This rich, fragrant dessert, with its layers of ginger, wants something slightly lean on the palate, yet elegant and engaging. You can’t go wrong with a well-aged Madeira but fans of single-malt Scotch, especially those of Islay, will be delighted by the flirtatious resonance of the match. Try Laphroaig 15 Year Old.
- For the crust:
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup, packed, light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
- 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- For the filling
- 10 ounces fresh Chèvre, such as Chablis
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1⁄2 cup chopped candied ginger
To make the crust:
Put the butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove and ground ginger into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times, until well blended. Add the vanilla and the walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are evenly incorporated into the butter mixture; use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the work bowl as needed. Add the flour and pulse several times, until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Clean the work bowl and blade. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Press the chilled dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool thoroughly.
To make the filling:
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Put the Chèvre, sugar, egg and egg yolk into the work bowl of the food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the cream and fresh ginger and pulse until just smooth; do not overprocess.
Spread the candied ginger over the surface of the crust, pour the Chèvre custard over the candied ginger and agitate the tart pan very gently to even it out, if needed. Set the tart on a baking sheet and set the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the custard is firm and the top is pale gold. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 15 minutes and remove the ring of the tart pan. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.