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Friday, January 13, 2012

Local Guava and Cream Cheese Tart

2012 started with a bang for me. My first private party of the year was a local, organic, and sustainable dinner. Shopping for this dinner party was a great chance for me to wish "Happy New Year" to all my farmers market friends, farmers, fishmongers, and more.

This dessert was created when Laurel from Coral Tree Farm, suggested I use some of her guava puree. The farm had such a great guava harvest that they processed the guava into mason jars full of yummy pink puree (thankfully removing all the seeds and doing all the hard work for me).

The dessert has several steps, but if you have made cookies, cheesecake or home-made Jello you will be just fine. Don't let the length of the recipe scare you off.

May I suggest you serve this dessert with a nice cold glass of your favorite Riesling. The flavors of this dessert pair beautifully with it.

Guava and Cream Cheese Tart

Makes 1 (10 inch) Tart

½ lb                      Unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup                   Sugar
1/8 tsp                  Salt
1                           Egg
1                           Egg yolk
1 tbsp                   Vanilla
2 cups                  All-purpose Flour
1 tbsp                   Lemon zest

8 oz            Cream cheese, cubed and room temp.
1/3 cup       Sugar
1 large        Egg
1                 Egg yolk
¼ tsp          Vanilla
1 tbsp         Lemon juice

1  tsp                     Agar agar flakes
¼  cup                  Water
2 cups                   Guava Puree
1                           Vanilla Bean, cut in half a seeds scraped
1/3 to ½ cup         Sugar
¼ cup                   Myer lemon juice

In an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter sugar and salt.
On medium speed, mix until smooth.
With the machine running add egg yolk and vanilla;  mix until smooth; making sure to scrape down the bowl.
Repeat with whole egg.
Add flour and lemon zest, all at once, and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
Place dough into a 10 inch removable bottom tart pan, cover dough with parchment paper. With the heal of your hand flatten dough and press into the bottom of the pan and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Press dough into a thin layer and into the fluted edges on the tart pan. Trim excess dough.
Freeze shell until firm, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Dock tart dough piece the flat bottom of the tart with a fork (all over).
Line shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights.
Place tart pan onto a baking sheet; bake until edge is golden and bottom is set, about 15 minutes, then carefully remove pie weights and parchment (gently prick any bubbles with a fork to release air).
Increase oven temperature to 400°F and bake until bottom is pale golden (and does not have and melted butter liquid), 10 to 15 minutes more.
Let tart shell cool to room temperature.

Place cream cheese, sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon juice into an electric mixer and beat with paddle attachment until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Pour filling into tart shell and smooth with rubber spatula. Cover tart shell edges with foil, to keep from burning.
Bake tart for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cream cheese has puffed lightly and looks dull.
Cool tart and filling to room temperature.

Combine water and agar agar flakes in a medium sauce pan; stir let rest for 15 minutes to rehydrate.

Place guava puree, vanilla bean (and scraped seeds), sugar and Myer lemon juice in a double boiler. Cook over medium heat till guava puree is heated through and sugar is completely dissolved.
Cook agar agar and water over medium heat, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Cook till agar agar flakes are dissolved and remove from heat.
Strain agar agar into cooked guave. Whisk to combine.
Remove vanilla bean from guava and pour into tart shell.
Refrigerate overnight to set.