Savoury Brie & Grape Tart
We spent all last weekend in the countryside, where grape harvest was well on its way. After strolling through the vineyard, all the while watching and photographing the harvesting process and eating grapes right off the vine, we left with a huge crate of freshly picked grapes. Even though we snacked on them at a fast pace, I still had quite a lot of grapes on my hand and started to think of ideas to turn them into something delicious.
I decided to make a tart and initially I thought of making a sweet one, with a biscuit-like base, thick vanilla custard and grapes. For some reason, I changed my mind before setting out to make it and instead decided to make a savoury one. And in retrospect, I think Brie made me do it. I love the way this creamy textured and buttery scented cheese pairs with grapes and all I needed to bring them together was a nice cracker base. I’ve made mine with Spelt flour and black sesame seeds, although caraway seeds would work really nice here. I call it a tart, but what it is is actually a giant cracker with Brie & grapes on top. As for deciding to shape mine as a grape, that’s totally optional. I had a bit of fun with the dough and extra time on my hands to make it, but if you’re in a hurry, a simple rectangular shape will do just fine. It is the perfect appetizer and a crowd pleaser; it goes really nice with a glass of chilled Chardonnay or if you’re celebrating, Champagne is a nice option as it pairs beautifully with Brie. Either way, this tart is delicious as it is quick to prepare, so I do hope you make it and enjoy it!
For the crust:
320g/2½ cups Spelt flour
½ tsp fine sea salt
113g/1 stick butter, cubed and chilled
One egg yolk
60ml/¼ cup ice-cold water
1 tsp black sesame seeds or caraway seeds
In a large bowl, place the flour and the sea salt and mix well. Add the butter and mix in with your fingertips until mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix until incorporated. Add water and seeds and knead with your hands until it becomes a ball. If the ball doesn’t come together, add a little more water and knead some more. Shape dough into a disc and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Assembling the tart:
Two large handfuls of grapes, washed and removed from stems
100g/3.5 oz. Brie, sliced
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. On a lightly floured surface, place the dough disk and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, with the aid of a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it reaches a thickness of approximately 5mm/0.2 in. Place on a baking tray fitted with a baking paper, dust off excess flour, prick with a fork here and there and bake for 20 minutes, until the edges become golden. Remove from the oven. Set your oven to broiler mode. Place the brie slices on top of the crust and return tart to the oven for about 4-5 minutes, just until the cheese has started to melt. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then decorate with the grapes and serve!