Crostata di Pere e Speck by Coco Pazzo's Chef Chris Macchia

March 14, 2011 9:31:17 AM PDT
Speck, a delicious juniper flavored cured ham from the north of Italy can be found at upscale grocers, and at international and Italian delis. It can be substituted with Prosciutto.

Recipe by Coco Pazzo's Chef Chris Macchia
Coco Pazzo Restaurant

300 W Hubbard, Chicago IL 60610
312.836.0900
cocopazzochicago.com

Crostata di Pere e Speck (Pear and Speck Tart)
Serves 6

  • 1 pre-baked tart shell (see recipe below)
  • 12 thinly sliced Speck* (substitute with 6 slices Prosciutto) enough to cover the bottom the tart shell
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Taleggio cheese, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or (or mix milk and cream together in equal amounts)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • mixed greens

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by lining the bottom of the tart shell with the speck. Sprinkle the chopped thyme, as well as the Taleggio, evenly on the top of the speck. With a whisk or kitchen mixer blend together the goat cheese, half and half, egg and grated Parmesan. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Fill the tart shell with the goat cheese mixture. Arrange the thinly sliced pears in a decorative pattern covering the top of the tart. Brush pears with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese mixture is set. Before serving, let the tart come to room temperature. Serve with mixed greens and chopped chives.

* Speck, a delicious juniper flavored cured ham from the north of Italy can be found at upscale grocers, and at international and Italian delis. It can be substituted with Prosciutto.

Basic Savory Tart Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 10-inch round tart pan, or 6 individual tart pans.

In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse oatmeal. Using a fork, stir in the ice water just until dough comes together nicely. Form pasty into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Roll pastry out on a lightly floured work surface into a circle slightly larger than the tart pan. Place in pan and press pastry into the bottom and edge of the pan. Firmly roll the rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to cut away any extra pastry dough. Keep chilled until baking.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the tart shell for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. (You can help prevent the pastry from becoming too puffy by cutting out a circle of parchment or waxed paper and place it inside the pastry, then fill it with pastry weights, beans or rice. Remove the paper and weights a few minutes before the end of baking to allow pastry to brown.) Pastry shell can be made ahead of time.