Swiss Chard, Pear, and Comté Tart

by Jen on October 18, 2012

My first time in the South of France, I noticed how locals there would take long, lingering lunches that lasted at least 2 hours. On their table were, maybe, a carafe of wine, a basket of fresh bread, a main course, and always a salad. And whether their lunch was a poulet rôti, or a tartine, they were almost never eaten in a harried, on-the-go kind of way. Over there, they sit down for lunch. Period.

In the Provençal city of Aix-en-Provence, at restaurants along Cours Mirabeau or on the Place Forum des Cardeurs, les tartes and les quiches were often seen on the plat du jour offerings. Tarte Provençal – with its traditional tomatoes, aubergine, courgette, and olives in a cheesy egg base – is the most common; although, seasonal variations can also be found.

The French are the kings of tarts, les rois de tartes: they make a mean leek tart, red pepper and mustard tart, Alsatian (onion) tart…the list goes on. But my tart du jour is something that utilizes the bounty of the Fall harvest here in Canada (as well as in Europe). I used Swiss chard, leeks, and pears (you can use either Bartlett, Bosc, D’Anjou, or Forelle) to build this pie. Furthermore, I chose Comté cheese from the Jura mountains of the Franche-Comté region in France, to give it a sharp, slightly sweet, full-bodied flavour.

I cannot begin to tell you how fascinated I am by Comté cheese (see source here). It’s one of the first cheeses to be given the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) recognition in France, therefore, its crafting is a closely-guarded series of stringent requirements and processes. For example, only milk from the Montbéliarde and French Simmental cattle breeds can be made into Comté cheese. Also, each cow is given a whole hectare of pastureland to graze in, with every bovine eating only grass (no GMO’s) throughout their life. Every Comté cheese is aged a minimum of 12 to 18 months (some go up to 4 years).

This Swiss chard, pear, and Comté tart is made with an amazingly buttery and flaky brown rice and quinoa crust – recipe is from one of my favourite food stylist and photographer, Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille, whose first cookbook is coming out on October 23!

I have to thank Aran for featuring this on her blog because it is sooooo delicious! I made slight modifications to her original recipe, but I’m sure that either way you go, it’s some kind of wonderful!

Have you ever been deliriously happy because something you made or tasted was just off-the-hook? Well, that’s how I felt about this tart! And I really attribute it to the buttery quality of the Comté cheese, which really held everything together and made the tart so creamy and luxurious. In the end, not only did this tart make me swoon, it also took me back to a good place (the South of France) in my life.

And the awesome thing about this is, if you have leftover fillings, you can add it to pasta, make savoury crepes, or like what I did, make it into a filled omelet for breakfast the next day.

This one is going straight to my “good books” and will become a regular part of my recipe rotation! J’adore!


4.9 from 10 reviews
Swiss Chard, Pear, and Comté Tart
Recipe Type: Lunch, Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: one 9" tart or three 6" tarts
 
Based on a recipe from Small Plates and Sweet Treats cookbook by Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille blog. Published by Little, Brown and Company in 2012.
Ingredients
  • ~~ For the pastry crust ~~
  • ½ cup (70 g) brown rice flour
  • ⅓ cup (45 g) quinoa flour
  • ⅓ cup (35 g) almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 stick (110 g) cold or frozen butter, cut into ½" pieces
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
  • ~~ For the filling ~~
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups (175 g) Swiss chard, chopped and tough ribs removed
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) cream
  • 2½ cups (75 g) Comté cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium ripe pear, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry crust, add the first six ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse two times. Add the cold butter and pulse ten times until the mixture resembles very coarse sand.
  2. Add the 6 tablespoons ice water and pulse until dough comes together. It will not form a ball at this time. Check to see if the dough holds together when pressed between your fingers. Add more water, if needed.
  3. Turn the dough in a floured work surface. Knead it a couple of times and form a ball. If making 6" tarts, divide the dough in thirds. If making 9" tart, do not divide dough. Wrap in plastic and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Take dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic. Roll it out on the plastic wrap to about ¼-inch thick. If dough cracks, press it back together.
  5. Using the plastic as an aid, lift your dough and invert gently on tart pan. Roll your pin on top to cut out excess dough. Remove plastic and excess dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  6. Blind bake by covering with parchment and pie weights (use ceramic ones or dry beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and paper and bake another 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool. The tarts can be made up to 2 days in advanced. If not yet using, store in refrigerator covered loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. To make the filling, heat pan with olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the leek and garlic, cooking until tender, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chard, wine, half the amount of salt (1/2 teaspoon), half the amount of pepper (1/4 teaspoon), and nutmeg. Cook until chard is wilted and most liquid evaporated, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  9. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sweet rice flour, milk, cream, half the amount of Comté cheese, the remaining salt and pepper.
  10. Fill the tart crust with chard and top with pear slices. Pour the custard over it and top with remaining Comté cheese.
  11. If desired, protect the edge of your crust by wrapping around it a pie crust protector or make your own with a thin sliver of aluminum foil.
  12. Bake at same temperature, 375 F (190 C), about 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and golden. Let it cool slightly before cutting. Garnish with micro green or sprouts.
Notes
*Note that you may have a substantial amount of leftover filling. This can be easily used as filling for savoury crepes, frittata, and omelets!

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Choc Chip Uru October 18, 2012 at 6:05 am

Mmmm I would eat this for 2, 24 hours anything – it looks beautiful and must taste awesome :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Reply

Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) October 18, 2012 at 6:31 am

I love tartelettes like this – definitely very “Aran-style” food which is a way I love to eat as well. Nice pictures – you obviously took a lot away from your workshop with her in Montreal :) I particularly like that you used the leftovers for omelettes! Yum!

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Carol | a cup of mascarpone October 18, 2012 at 6:47 am

I can’t decide if I love your delicious tart or your gorgeous photos better! I can’t stop staring…you are so talented, Jen!!!

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amy @ fearless homemaker October 18, 2012 at 8:45 am

I love comte’ so i know i would love this tart. i so loved my time in the south of france + this dish would fit in perfectly there. YUM!

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Phenomenal Mama October 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

Yum! I love the way you described comte cheese, and I envy you for making this tart. I can only imagine how this tastes like… seems to me like the heavenly taste depends heavily on the quality of the cheese.

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Patty October 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

I agree with you about the Comte’ cheese, J’adore! Thanks for transporting me to Aix-en Provence, if only for a brief moment;-) Your quiche is so pretty and the crust recipe sounds magnifique;-)

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Valerie October 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

When I was little, I remember how large my dad’s eyes grew when a waiter at the restaurant we were dining in started to take the salad plates away about 10 minutes into the meal. It took him a while to acclimate to America’s eating pace. :P

Jen, this is beyond mouthwatering! It’s simple, perfect, and exquisite. I feel more relaxed already, just by gazing at the photos. And what fascinating facts about Comté! Such lucky, happy, healthy cows! :)

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

Now you have me craving for comte cheese! Your pics are so pretty – you should be a food stylist! :)

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sippitysup October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I just spent some time with Aran in Alaska, I should have asked her to bring a tart! GREG

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Tessa October 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Beautiful tart! I would never have thought of using chard and pears in the same dish… Sounds so delicious!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Such a beautiful tart (those pears!!) and I love that your repurposed your leftovers as crepes! Two amazing dishes in one, I love it!

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Jen @ Savory Simple October 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

This is stunning!

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Sara M October 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm

This looks beautiful! I may have missed it, but I couldn’t find how many eggs it requires in the ingredients lists…?

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Cass @foodmyfriend October 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

Incredible. I love the idea of a long lunch, just rarely find the time for it. The mistake that I possibly make is waiting until I’m starving to eat lunch so I just scoff it down!

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Sandra's Easy Cooking October 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

Jen, your tart looks stunning! I was just staring at the pics for a few minutes…truth to be told it made me drool:)
I love the idea for leftover filling…I am imagining all three on my table right now in front of me pasta, savory crapes and omelette with this delicious filling… Very enjoyable post to read, ’cause you are such a fantastic writer I just get lost and start to imagine stuff…going trough the day dreams! Hehehe! Have a lovely weekend!

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mjskit October 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

I definitely want to eat this tart! The piece you’ve already served up in the bowl looks perfect! Swiss chard anything I love and the can imagine how good it is with pears. I’m not familiar with Comte’ cheese so thanks for the source. Stunning pictures of a delicious slow lunch dish! Just need to find the right wine. :)

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Jean | Lemons and Anchovies October 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I’m salivating; these tarts look absolutely delectable. I didn’t know these facts about comte cheese so thanks for the education. It truly made your tarts special. Love the pictures! :)

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Msee October 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I love this post! Great pictures and yummy delicious tarts! Thank you for sharing =)

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Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} October 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Impressive! I absolutely love your tart. Comte is one of my favorite cheeses. Beautiful photos!!!! Happy Friday to you!!

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Faith October 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

Long (relaxed!) lunches like that is probably what I miss most about Europe. Here in my daily life I’m actually lucky if I take the time to sit down with my lunch at the computer instead of eating it while hovering over the kitchen sink. Definitely not a good thing, lol!

Your tart is stunning…the sweetness of the pear paired with the savory flavors is perfect.

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Chocolate shavings October 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

Love tartes likes these – they remind of the food I grew up eating in Paris!

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Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking October 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

this tart is so Aran! I love her blog (I love yours too) and both your photos are full of light and so inviting.

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The Squishy Monster October 22, 2012 at 1:43 am

As always, STUNNING! And what a beautiful mix of flavors, I bet it’s wonderful =)

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Raymund October 22, 2012 at 3:07 am

Thats a really beautiful tart!

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wok with ray October 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

This tart looks heavenly beautiful, Jen! Aran is a very talented food photographer and so as you. Have a good week, Jen!

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Suzanne October 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

wow, this tart is gorgeous, I like the idea of how the people in France eat un-hurried sounds like a piece of heaven. Seems like all we do is rush and hurry even though we live the country.

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Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats October 24, 2012 at 2:37 am

Oh Jen! This tart is making me weak to my knees. Love the pairing of sweet and savory. Really beautiful styling too. I am leaving here feeling inspired :D. xoxo

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts October 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

I am not really a cheese person, but my husband is. He purchased compte recently when we were trying out a new cheese shop. He loved it too!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 25, 2012 at 1:41 am

Truly hope we get to visit France, sometime in the future. Delicious clicks!

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trishie October 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm

That is the most beautiful tartlet ever. I don’t eat savoury tarts often but would very much love a slice of that now.

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Nami | Just One Cookbook October 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

What a gorgeous tart! I’d never thought of putting pear and swiss chard together. I wonder how French mom spends the day with the kids… they probably enjoy the day and not so rushing like how we spend the day here… I sometimes forget if I lunch since the time passes by so quickly!

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Heather October 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Absolutely beautiful – I love the pairing of swiss chard and pears, so beautifully styled and photographed as are all your posts!

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