Fromage Blanc Tart from Chef Bret Bannon

Fromage Blanc Tart

This holiday season, impress your guests by making a delicious Fromage Blanc Tart! This recipe uses Kalona SuperNatural Organic Whipping Cream and Unsalted Butter!

Fromage Blanc Tart Crust Ingredients

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons Kalona SuperNatural Whipping Cream

  • 1 teaspoon cold water (original recipe suggested apple cider vinegar), plus additional cold water if needed

  • ½ cup plus 5 tablespoons (184 g) cold Kalona SuperNatural Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 ½ cups (187 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup (38 g) confectioner’s sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Fromage Blanc Tart Crust Directions

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, using a fork, beat together the egg yolk, cream, and water. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Cut the butter into pieces, set them on a plate, and place in the refrigerator as well, until ready to use.

In the bowl of a food processor using the metal “S” blade, pour in the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to evenly distribute the mixture.

Scatter the pieces of butter on top of the flour mixture. Pulse until each piece of butter is about the size of a pea. Don’t get caught up that every piece has to be exactly the size of a pea. It’s okay that some are larger or smaller.

Remove the lid and pour the egg mixture over the flour/butter mixture. (I found that when pouring the egg mixture while the motor is running, the liquid tends to collect under the blade.) Return the lid and pulse until the dough just begins to come together. Remove the lid and (being careful of the blade) press a bit of the dough with your fingers to determine if it will stick together. If not, sprinkle a teaspoon of cold water over the mixture, return the lid and pulse again to combine further.

When the dough comes together, remove it from the processor bowl onto a clean counter. With the palm of your hand smear the dough away from you to incorporate. With a bench knife, gather up the pieces and smear again until incorporated. This simple technique is called fraisage. It allows the dough to come together without using an excessive amount of liquid. Once the dough is in one mass form it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.

When ready to finish making the tart preheat oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured board roll the pastry dough into a circle about 13-inches in diameter. Line a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan with it. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell all over with a fork and chill for at least 30 minutes before baking. Remove from the refrigerator, line with parchment paper, add pie weights and bake for about 30 minutes. Check for doneness and continue until the crust is beginning to brown.

Fromage Blanc Tart Filling Ingredients

  • 1 pound (500 g) homemade fromage blanc or ricotta cheese, drained

  • 1/3 cup (1 dl) Kalona SuperNatural Whipping Cream or crème fraiche

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature and separated

  • 2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (40 g) corn starch

  • zest of 2 lemons, organic if possible

  • ¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract

  • pinch of kosher salt

Fromage Blanc Tart Filling Directions

About 10 minutes prior to the tart shell having finished baking, mix together in the bowl of a food processor the drained cheese, cream, egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, zest, extract, and salt. Set aside.

In a clean bowl beat the egg whites (either with the whisk attachment using a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or like I do with a balloon whisk and a copper bowl) with a pinch of salt to the soft-peak stage.  With a large spatula quickly stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it.  Then gently fold in the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites.

Pour the filling into the pastry shell and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden. Let the tart cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve with sliced seasonal fruit.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Bret Bannon, Bret’s Table. Photo credit to David Paul Schmit Photography.