Torta 42nd Street

February 25, 2011

From Daniel’s Feeding Frenzy files:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a 9-inch tart pan with a sheet of frozen puff pastry (thawed).  It’s okay (even better) if the edges are ragged as long as they well-overhang the pan.  Pierce the floor of the tart a few times with a toothpick to keep the bottom from blistering TOO much.  Put pan and pastry into the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

It’s better if the rest of the ingredients are room temperature. Core and peel 3 medium tart apples.  Slice to about 1/8″ on a mandoline or use a knife if you have better knife skills than I do.  Toss these slices in a light dusting of flour.  Set aside.  Skin a sweet onion and slice it to the same thickness as the apple.  Toss these slices in a light dusting of flour, too.  Set aside.  Crumble about a third of a pound of very cold mountain gorgonzola cheese.   Set aside.  Beat together 6 eggs, 1 cup of heavy cream and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

I usually get the tart pan out of the oven at this point and blind bake it lightly.  7 or 8 minutes is all.  Retrieve the pastry from the oven.  Turn the oven down to 375 now.  And, careful not to burn yourself, fill the shell as follows:

A layer of half the onion, in a spiral pattern
A layer of half the apples , in a spiral patter 
A layer of half the cheese
repeat

Carefully, and lifting layers a bit as you go, pour the egg mixture into the tart pan.  Yes, get some on the top, but mostly your job is to get it between the layers of stuff.

Return the torta to the oven (which you’ve turned down to 375 degrees by now) and back until the egg filling is set.   This takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending upon your oven and whether the ingredients (including the eggs) were room temperature when you started.

Check the torta at the 25 minute mark.  The exposed puff pastry might start looking a little dark at this point.  If that’s the case, you’ll need to cover those edges with strips of foil, dull side down.  This will help keep them from burning.

This torta is great served hot.  It’s WONDERFUL served at room temperature (remember – the eggs are fully cooked at this point so it’s fine).

Enjoy.

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