Bacon and Zucchini Tart

Contributed by Marjorie Taylor, The Cook’s Atelier

This tart is a perfect weeknight supper served with a simple salad of baby greens from the garden or your local farmers' market.

Ingredients
For the dough:
12  tsp sea salt
13 cup ice water
112 cups all-purpose flour, preferably organic
5  oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the filling:
3 slices of bacon, preferably nitrate free, cut into small cubes
12cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler into ribbons
3 eggs, slightly beaten
34cup whole milk
34cup crème fraîche
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To make the tart shell:
In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt and water to dissolve the salt. Keep cold until ready to use. Place the flour and the butter in a large bowl. With your fingers, mix the butter into the flour pinching between your fingers until you have incorporated the butter into the flour and the mixture forms large crumbs. If you prefer, you can use a pastry cutter or fork for this step. Add the salt and water mixture and work the dough with your fingers just until it is combined. If it seems a little dry, add an additional tablespoon of cold water. Gather the dough into a ball with your hand and gently press to form a disk. Be careful not to handle the dough too much or you'll end up with a tough pastry shell. Wrap the disk with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, turning the dough as you go, until you form a circle large enough to line your tart pan. Trim the edges and prick the bottom of the shell all over with the tongs of a fork. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

Line the tart shell with parchment paper. Fill the lined tart shell with dried beans and bake until the edges are just beginning to brown. Take the tart shell out of the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and dried beans. Return the tart to the oven, and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, turning as needed to ensure even color. Place on a rack to cool completely.

To make the tart:

In a sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, until crispy. Drain and set aside.

Sprinkle the cheese over the bottom of the tart shell and top with the bacon and zucchini ribbons. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, crème fraîche, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the cheese, bacon and zucchini. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, as this tart is best served at room temperature.

Glossary

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