Friday, September 7, 2012

Grape Harvest Tart

To celebrate the annual grape harvest, here's a recipe for a tart filled with homemade grape jam. When baked, the jam helps to bind the tart's top and bottom layers and its musky, sweet flavors work well with the buttery crust. For added festiveness, we cut a cluster of our favorite crop into the top layer. Try this with a glass of J Cuvee 20 Brut or any of J's other crisp sparkling wines

Grape Harvest Tart

Serves 8 to 10.


For the Jam
    •    1 1/2 pounds red grapes, stems removed
    •    4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    •    Pinch of salt
    •    1 cup granulated sugar

For the Dough
    •    2 cups flour, plus more for surface
    •    1/4 cup sugar
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    2 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes
    •    1/4 cup ice water
    •    1 egg, lightly beaten
    •    Sugar for sprinkling
    •    Fresh whipped cream for topping (optional)


    •    To make the dough, put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add the small cubes of butter and process until mixture is a coarse meal (about 15 seconds). With machine running, add the ice water gradually until the mixture begins to bind. Shape dough into two disks. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for one hour or up to 48 hours.

    •    To make the jam, combine grapes and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring often, until grapes release their juices, about 7 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, which should yield 1 1/2 to 2 cups juice. Discard grape skins and return juice to saucepan. Cook over high heat and stir in the sugar along with pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer jam to bowl, let cool -- stirring occasionally. The jam will be a thick liquid but will firm as it cools.

    •    On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer one round to a baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment, and fit the other round into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges flush with tart pan. Freeze both until firm, about 15 minutes.

    •    Using a paring knife or mouth of a bottle, cut clusters of holes in dough on baking sheet to create a bunch of grapes and a stem at the top.

    •    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread one cup grape jam over dough in the tart pan, making sure to keep it 1.5 inches clear from the edge so jam doesn't leak out of the edges when you place the other dough round on top. (You can keep any remaining jam in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.) Brush the top edge of dough with egg. Slide the remaining dough round on top and center the design. Press the edges to seal, trimming up any excess with a paring knife or kitchen shears. Brush the top layer with egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

    •    Place the tart in the oven and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Take it out and gently tap the pan to remove any bubbles that have formed. Return the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown (it'll also be bubbling a bit), about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire baking rack, and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Take the tart out of the pan and transfer to a platter. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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