Here’s a fun game. Make this carrot tart. It’s not an ordinary carrot tart, by the way. It’s got an orange-almond ricotta filling under it that makes it’ ridiculously good. But already I digress.
Anyway, step one: make this tart. Step two, ask someone you know–maybe someone you love this question: “Hey, you want a piece of carrot tart?” Don’t show them the tart. Just ask the question. They’ll probably look at you strange. Maybe they’ll be polite and say yes. There’s a good chance they’ll be diplomatic and say. “Oh gosh, I just ate.” or something to that effect. Then (step three) show ‘em the tart. They’ll change their tune. “Oooh! Wait…” Try it. You’ll see.
Carrot Tart? People Make That?
It’s ridiculous how good this carrot tart is. First, this is a savory tart, but the ricotta and the almonds and the glaze reduction give it a sweetness that puts it in the savory-sweet range. Orange. Ginger. Tarragon. Carrot. They’re like besties. They all play really well together. Second, look at it. It’s got this rustic elegance. It’s enticing. It’s colorful. It’s shiny. You’re going to want a piece.
So yeah. People make carrot tarts sometimes. You probably should too.
Tell Me More About This Carrot Tart Thing
This tart is easy because I used frozen puff pastry. I’ve got a proper (and quite good) tart crust recipe. I’ve used it for years. You can have it want. It’s used in this Apricot Tart, for example. Simple as it is, though, puff pastry makes it rediculous. What I like about it is that you can sort of free form it and build little puff pastry walls to hold the filling.
This thing (this carrot tart I mean) is kind of like a cheese danish with the puff pastry and the orange-almond cheese filling. Then it’s got carrots on top, which makes it sort of a stealthy cheese danish. It’s not what you’re expecting when you take a bite. It’ll be a hit. It’s like a cheese danish that’s kinda healthy. Yeah. You’re gunna freak some folks out with this thing.
Trust me on this. I’m a professional.
- 2 Large Bunches of Carrots (multi-colored are nice)
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Tarragon Leaves
- 1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Fresh Ginger
- 1 Cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- ¾ Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1 Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Tarragon Leaves
- ½ Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Currants
- Zest from 1 Orange
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- ¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Package of Frozen Puff Pastry (containing two 12 x 12 sheets)
- 1 Egg, beaten (for Egg wash)
- Package of Frozen Puff Pastry (containing two 12 x 12 sheets)
- Egg, beaten (for Egg wash)
- Preheat your oven to 325F (162C). Also take the puff pastry out of the freezer to thaw (it takes about 40 minutes to thaw, but you don’t want it to come fully to room temperature).
- Cut the green tops off of the carrots, reserving a few sprigs for garnish. Peel the carrots. Cut a 2 ½ inch piece of carrot to use as your “measuring stick. Cut all carrots to that same length. Then slice them lengthwise.
- Place carrots into a pot of boiling water with a large pinch of kosher salt and cook them until they are just done but still firm (about 10 - 12 minutes). Drain the hot water and replace with cold to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Add the orange juice, the tarragon, the ginger, the butter, and a pinch of salt to a saucepan. Simmer gently until juice reduces by about ⅔ and sauce is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat.
- Also while the squash cooks: make the filling. Simply mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Set aside.
- Gently unfold one of the sheets of puff pastry and roll it out to a full 12 x 12 sheet. With a very sharp knife, cut a ½ inch strip of pastry from all four of the outside edges (these will be the outer walls of the tart).
- With a pastry brush, paint a coat of egg wash on the outer edges of the pastry and place the strips of reserved pastry along the edge to build four outer walls.
- Spread about half of the filling into the center of the tart and spread to the edge walls.
- Now you’re going to arrange the carrots on top in a chevron pattern. So so by starting at the center of one edge and placing two pieces of carrot in a “V” shape with the opening toward the center of the tart. Add two more carrot slices to the outer edges to make a large “W” along the top of one edge. This will be your template. Continue to arrange carrot slices in this “W” patter down to the other edge. Be careful not to let the carrot overlap the top of the edge wall strips (they won’t puff if they’re covered). When you’re done there will be bare triangular sections. So take a knife and cut down pieces of carrot to fill in the final spaces. In the end the entire surface of the tart should be covered in a chevron patter of carrot.
- Bake in the oven until the puff pastry begins to brown, about 45 minutes.
- Remove tart from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack so the bottom doesn’t become soft from moisture.
- With a pastry brush, brush a layer of the glaze over the top of the tart (reheat the glaze if it becomes too thick). Sprinkle with chopped carrot tops. Cut into 9 pieces and serve.