When leaves and blooms outside begin to wake up in all shades of greens, purples, yellows, and the like, we too start to crave waking up to a delectable brunch on a sunny patio with friends. And when the 2015 Food & Wine Annual Cookbook arrived in the mail, we were all-too ecstatic here at the Wine Dispensary, and today feeling thankful for them (and Chef Ludo Lebebvre) for sharing this incredible recipe! It can be made a day ahead of time if refrigerated overnight and brought to room temperature to serve.
1 ¾ C. all purpose flour + dusting flour
1 ¼ t. kosher salt
1 stick + 1 Tb. cold butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk
8 oz. wheel of chilled Époisses, but into ½” dice
1 Pink Lady apple or other sweet cooking apple, peeled, cored & cut into ½” dice
¼ lb. Parisian or boiled ham, cut into 1/3” dice
2 large eggs
1 ¼ C. heavy cream
1 t. kosher salt
¼ t. freshly ground white pepper
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Make the pastry in the food processor by pulsing the flour with salt. Add the butter & pulse until it looks like small peas. Add the yolk and ¼ C. cold water and pulse until moist. Turn the pastry to a lightly floured surface, gathering crumbs, and pat into a disc. Wrap in plastic & refrigerate for about 45 min. until firm.
Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface into a 13” round disc. Ease the pastry into an 11” fluted tart pan (with a removable bottom), pressing the pastry into the corners and side. Trim the pastry ¼” above the rim and use excess to patch holes & thin spots. Refrigerate for about 15 min. until chilled.
Line the tart shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 min. until just dry. Remove the paper & weights and bake for another 15 min. until golden. Let cool slightly and transfer to a baking sheet.
Scatter the Époisses, apple & ham evenly in the tart. In a bowl beat the eggs with the cream, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Pour the custard into the tart and bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the shell halfway through baking, until the custard is just set and light brown on top. Transfer to a rack to cool for 30 min. Remove the ring, cut the tart into wedges & serve.
Food & Wine suggests a Chablis, rich with significant minerality, such as the 2012 Joseph Drouhin Réserve de Vaudon.
We looked into the wine and found that it’s Chardonnay grapes come from the Burgundy region, and therefore make a great match with the Époisses. The vineyard is in a region not far from Grand Crus. The minerality in the wine echoes the limestone and long-lasting marine life fossils in the vines’ soils. The acid is very well balanced, so that the apple & cheese shine through.
We at the Wine Dispensary would like to add that if you’re a sucker for sparkling at brunch, you want to be careful not to go too sweet so as not to compete with the juiciness of the ham & sweet apples. You really can’t go wrong with Thienot Brut Champagne.
It’s got a taut citrus and effervescence that elevates the pungent, soft cheese, and it brings a strong and bright limestone and a touch of baked apples on the tongue that enhances the apple in the tart.