Bacon, Onions, and Crème Fraîche Play a Role in This Beauty.
I found myself with an abundance of big baking potatoes due to a mistake with my grocery order, so I started thinking about what to do with some of them and decided on a tart. I began by making up a batch of my all butter pie crust.
It makes 2 crusts, so I popped one in the freezer for one of my Thanksgiving pies, and let the other disc sit overnight in the fridge before rolling it out the next day.
Wanting to use up at least 3 of the potatoes, I opted for a large 11 inch tart pan *. One disc of my pie dough was perfect for this size tart.
I’ve made potato tarts/pies in the past and my main concern is for there be plenty of interesting flavor. Potatoes have a way of soaking up seasonings to the point of blandness, so I went heavy on flavors. I first cooked up a pan of chopped bacon, sliced onions and garlic. I didn’t want the bacon to be too crisp because it can become too hard when it bakes. After draining off the oil, I added fresh thyme and rosemary, sliced scallions, a chopped chili, plenty of crème fraîche, some Dijon mustard, and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Nothing unusual about the ingredients, but I went heavy on the amounts.
I used a mandolin for slicing the potatoes because they really do need to be very thinly sliced. And yes, I always use a protective glove, and hope you do as well. I then stirred them into the other ingredients and ended up using my hands to get the potatoes evenly coated. They have a tendency to stick together and I found I needed to get right in there with my fingers in order get the job done.
After filling the shell with half the potatoes, I sprinkled on a layer of good aged white cheddar. I then added the rest of the potatoes and it was ready for the oven. As it baked I had a little spillage, but not much, so I suggest you either bake it on a sheet pan or place a piece of foil on the bottom of your oven, which is what I did.
When it was almost done I sprinkled on more cheese and put it back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese had melted and browned a little. It needs to sit and settle for about 20 minutes before removing the sides of the tart pan and serving it. I spooned on some of my Pickled Mustard Seeds, and used one of the red chilies in the mustard seeds for garnishing. I had held back the green parts of the sliced scallions and topped the tart with those.
I couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s a comforting and delicious tart. I simply served it with a lightly dressed green salad, which was a perfect compliment. I’ve had several screwups with my grocery orders in the past, and I’ve come to enjoy them. It forces me to think hard about how I can use the ingredients and I love coming up with these kinds of recipes. A bacon, potato, and cheddar tart is truly delicious.