recipe: corn custard and tomato tart

By Saturday, September 07, 2013 , , , ,

For those that know me well, I tend to be inspired by recipes, but go off the rails in the execution. In the kitchen, I'm a bit of a rebel ... I like to do my own thing, add my own spin, etc. Inspired by the corn-and-tomato-pie recipe I linked to a couple of weeks ago, I took its essence and flipped it on its head. Instead of a chunky, hearty filling, I made a simple corn custard that was poured over caramelized onions that covered the bottom of a pre-baked tart shell. Then I added some unadorned, but glorious-in-their-own-right, sungold and candy tomatoes to the pool of custard. Baked for 40 minutes, the pie came out of the oven slightly puffed and golden. We ate it at room temperature with super-sweet muskmelon, but it would be great served warm as well. After an afternoon at the pool, it definitely hit the spot.

Corn Custard and Tomato Tart
serves 2 hungry bambini and mom and pop, too

1 basic pie or tart crust recipe; I used the 9-inch pie crust recipe from Cook's Illustrated
1 large sweet onion, sliced into half moons
1 bunch of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ears sweet corn,
1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pint assorted cherry/grape tomatoes -- I used sungold and baby candy, but feel free to use any grape or cherry tomatoes you have!

Pre-bake the tart shell according to your recipe. Set aside to cool.
Adjust the heat of your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saute pan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil and thyme until fragrant. Add the onions, with a large pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and cook low and slow until the onions are caramelized and sweet -- about 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the onions are cooking, make the corn custard. Cut the kernels from the cob and place ikernels in a blender with the 1/4 cup milk or cream. Puree until smooth. Pour the puree through a fine mesh sieve or chinois. To the strained puree, whisk the creme fraiche, egg yolks, salt and pepper until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Layer the cool onions on the bottom of the tart shell. Pour the custard over the onions (don't pour the custard to the rim of the tart; leave about a 1/4 gap). Nestle the tomatoes in the custard and carefully transfer the tart to the oven (I place on a baking sheet first). Bake for 40 minutes, until golden and puffed adn the custard to set, but still wobbly.

Cool until warm or leave at room temperature.

Happy eating, -s.

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