La tarte Vaudoise à la crème - cream tart from the Vaud region

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This stunning cream tart recipe hails from the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. The unusual yeasted pastry is very easy to work with, but adds a deliciously savoury contrast to the rich baked cream filling.

First published in 2017
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I can really get on board with Swiss cuisine. Impossibly lush Alpine dairy products enrich the food in all the right places. This tart is from the Vaud canton, a mountainous region north of Lake Geneva. Filled with lightly set cream on a gently savoury base, it reminds me of the English custard tart, but thinner, crisper, creamier, a touch more restrained.

The unusual pastry is made with fresh yeast and bread flour, but it is not risen, rather used straight after mixing. It bakes into a thin, crunchy, pleasingly saline counterbalance to the thickened, caramelised cream. This pastry is much easier to handle than shortcrust or puff, so it is very straightforward to roll out and it does not need to be blind baked.




Yeasted pastry

  • 75g of whole milk, lukewarm
  • 15g of fresh yeast
  • 220g of strong white bread flour
  • 1 pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 100g of unsalted butter, softened

Cream tart filling

  • 100g of golden caster sugar
  • 10g of plain flour, (1 level tbsp)
  • 400g of double cream
  • 10g of butter, cut into very small pieces

To serve

  • dessert wine, Nancy paired the tart with Douceur d'Automne Vin Doux


Butter and lightly flour a 30cm loose-bottom tart tin. Dissolve the yeast into the milk in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and add a baking stone or heavy baking tray to the middle shelf (this helps the bottom of the pastry crisp up)
Blend together the flour, sugar, salt and butter to make fine breadcrumbs – you can also do this by hand, rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingers. Add the milk and pulse the food processor a few times to form a pastry. Tip out of the machine and knead a couple of times to make an even ball
Roll out into a large round sheet, lightly flouring as you go, rolling the pastry until about 2–3mm thick with a 2–3cm overhang around the edges of the tin. Gently press the pastry into the sides and edges of the tin. Roll over the edge of the tin with the rolling pin to remove any overhang and create a clean trim
Prick all over with a fork and rest for 15 minutes (so the pastry relaxes and holds its shape better when cooking). This pastry does not need to be baked blind and should not be allowed to sit more than those 15 minutes as it contains yeast
To make the filling, mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl, making sure they are thoroughly blended. Add the sugar to the uncooked pastry case and shake to distribute evenly
Pour in about two-thirds of the cream, reserving the rest. Swirl the mixture with your fingers in a few places to help incorporate some of the sugar into the cream. Dot over the tiny pieces of butter
Carefully transfer the filled tart to the hot baking stone or baking tray and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour over the rest of the cream and turn the tart so it cooks evenly. Return to the oven for a further 10–15 minutes. The tart is ready when the pastry is browned and crisp, the filling is bubbling and the top has started to blister in places
Remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature in the tin, then ease off the loose bottom of the tin and onto a serving platter
First published in 2017

Specialising in vegetarian food, Nancy has cooked her way around Europe and now writes full time for publications and her blog, Delicious from Scratch.

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