Using Crème Fraiche | Quick and Gorgeous Spring Tart

It’s been in the 50s here in Columbus.  It makes me think spring is here.  So since it feels like Spring, I’m starting to cook like it.  This quick rosemary ham tart with only six ingredients, is one of the simplest things you can make.   It is beautiful for brunch, great for a light dinner, even amazing as part of a little buffet of appetizers at a cocktail party.  So flexible, too.  You could certainly sub some roasted spring asparagus for the ham if you were feeling virtuous.

And oh my is it addictively tasty.

Spring Rosemary Ham Tart, inspired by John Torode

1 piece frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs

1/2 c crème fraiche (you can certainly buy it, if you haven’t the time to make it)

1 t good English mustard (prepared, not ground)

1/3 pound good quality rosemary ham

Small handful of parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the puff pastry and sprinkling the counter with a bit of flour, roll it a bit thinner, into a large rectangle.  Place lightly on an ungreased cookie sheet, don’t press on it.

In a bowl, whisk together 2 eggs.  Lightly brush the puff pastry evenly with the egg (don’t worry, you’ll have lots left over).  Taking a butter knife, score the pastry lightly along each edge about one inch in from the sides.  (It will look like you’ve drawn a picture frame.)  In the middle of the “frame,” use a fork to prick the pastry all over. PK tip – this is called docking, and it lets the steam out and prevents some puffing.

Slide the pastry into the oven for 12 minutes.

While that’s cooking, take the remaining egg and add the crème fraiche and mustard.  Whisk until smooth.

When the timer’s gone off, pull out the pastry and use the back of a spoon to lightly press down on the center of the crust if it’s puffed up a bit.  Then spoon or pour the egg mixture onto the middle of the pastry.  Place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

When it’s done, carefully remove the tart to a serving platter or large cutting board.  Pile the ham artfully across the top and sprinkle with the parsley.

Side Suggestion: If you serve it for dinner like I did, consider pairing it with a very simple salad of baby greens and this dressing: whisk together 2 T crème fraiche, 1 t english mustard, 1 t honey (mine is from Honeyrun Farms), a squeeze of Meyer lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Beverage Suggestion: Beer goes surprisingly well with this.  We enjoyed Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale with it, locally available at Whole Foods.

Playlist included Not in Love, by The Crystal Castles.  Yes, that’s Robert Smith from the Cure singing in that.




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