For the Pastry
- 2 cups (265 g) un bleached all-purpose flour
- Generous ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 9 tablespoons (135 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into several pieces
- ⅓ to ½ cup (80 t0 125 ml) ice water
For the Tart
- 1 ½ pounds (750 g) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into very thin slices. If the potatoes are too thick, you will need to pre-boil them until a bit soft.
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, halved and cut into very thin slices
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into quarters
Instructions for the Pastry
- This pastry is very buttery and easy to work. do not be surprised at the amount of water-it is the secret to success.
- Place the flour and the salt in a food processor and process once to mix.
- Add the butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal, three to five times. Add the ⅓ cup water and pulse just until the pastry begins to hold together, not more then nine or ten times.
- Check the pastry, open the machine and see if the dough comes together as often the water can be pooling at the bottom. If the pastry is too dry to hold together, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer the dough from the processor to your work surface and form it into a flat round.
- Let it rest, covered wit a tea towel, for a least 30 minutes in the fridge. If you need more time before rolling out, you will need to let it soften a bit, your call.
Instructions for the Tart
- Roll out one half of the pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface to form a 11 ½ inch round to fit a 10 ½ inch tart pan with removable bottom. Transfer the dough to the pan, fitting it against the bottom and sides, and form a lip around the edge. Roll out the second half of the dough to form an 11 ½ inch round and place on a baking sheet and place both in the fridge for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Prick the pastry in the tart pan all over with tines of a fork. Line the pastry with aluminum foil, and fill the foil with dried beans. Bake in the center of the oven just until the pastry is golden at the edges, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil and beans. Let cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water of an egg wash.
- In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, thyme, garlic, cream, tossing the ingredients with your hands until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Transfer the potato mixture to the baked pastry shell, spreading it out as evenly as possible.
- Brush the edges of the pastry shell with the egg wash, and fit the top crust over the tart. Do not stretch it tightly, let it fall gently over them. Press the top crust gently onto the edges of the bottom crust and brush with the egg wash. Cut a ½ inch diameter hole in the center.
- Bake in the center of the oven until the pastry begins to turn golden and the potatoes are nearly tender, 30 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven, and gently push the nuggets of butter into the center hold. Return the tart to the oven and bake until the pastry is pale and golden and the potatoes are tender through, 10 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven, remove the sides of the pan and let cool for five minutes before serving.
This recipe comes from THE FRENCH FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK by Susan Herrmann Loomis.