Monday, September 5, 2011

Raclette and Red Potato Savory Tart

Aren't these potatoes pretty? Or as pretty as a potato can be, right? So pretty it's amazing that they languished at the bottom of the bin for as long as they did. When I finally pulled them out to put them to use, I was a little ashamed of myself.

Three lonely, leftover waxy red potatoes from a summer CSA share seemed like the perfect excuse to make a potato gratin. And since I had dough for a tart crust in the freezer, I decided to make a cheesy, creamy potato gratin in a buttery tart shell. Yes, this tart does involve an obscene amount of dairy and fat, but after one bite, I think you'd agree it's worth the splurge.

The beauty of a potato gratin in a tart shell is that you've elevated a side dish into an actual meal- just add a salad and dinner is served. Given the ginormous amount of calories you'll be consuming per slice, it only seems proper that it be the main attraction.

I like a good stinky cheese in my potato gratin. This Reading Raclette from Spring Brook Hill Farm, while stinky, had a creamy, slightly nutty flavor. It was highly recommended by Antonelli's Cheese Shop and they've never disappointed me.

Et voilà! Stinky Cheesy Potato Tart- it's what's for dinner.

Raclette and Red Potato Savory Tart

I used red potatoes but any waxy potato will work in a gratin. So will any cheese that melts well such as swiss or comte but as stated above, my preference is for the stinky variety. An added bonus in making a potato gratin is the potential for homemade potato chips. I wound up with a few too many potato slices so I slathered them in olive oil and baked up some chips along with the tart. I ate the chips fresh from the oven sprinkled with sea salt and spoiled my dinner. No worries, though- this tart reheats beautifully and is even better the next day when the flavors have gelled. 

Tart Shell
adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery

3 1/3 cups (500g) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250g) cold, unsalted butter, cubed + extra for greasing pan
1 egg yolk
1 cup (250g) cold water

Potato Gratin
adapted from Vegetables

1 small garlic clove
3 medium sized red potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces grated Raclette
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. This recipe makes approximately two 11" tart shells. To make the tart shell, add flour and salt to a medium sized bowl and cut in the butter pieces with a pastry blender or your fingers. Form a well in the middle of the flour and butter mixture and add the egg yolk and half of the water. Stir the water and yolk into the flour to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If needed, add more water, a little at a time. Use your hands to bring the dough together. The dough shouldn't feel sticky nor should it be dry and crumbly. Don't overwork the dough - quickly form it into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
2. While the dough is chilling, start to prepare the ingredients for the gratin. Cut the potatoes into thin, even slices using a mandoline or a knife. Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water and set aside. Grate the cheese.
3. When ready to line the tart pan, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two pieces. Freeze one half of the dough for later use. On a lightly floured surface, roll the other dough half out to a round approximately 13" in diameter and 1/8" thick. Wrap the dough round over the rolling pin to transfer it to the tart pan. Unroll the dough over the tart pan and use your fingers to press it lightly into the pan bottom and sides. Allow a little extra overhang as the tart shell will shrink when baked. Chill the shell in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
4. Prick the tart shell with a knife or fork, line with parchment paper or foil, and weight it with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake the tart shell for 20-30 minutes at 350˚ Fahrenheit until the dough looks dry and has turned a light golden color. Remove to a rack and allow to cool before filling.
5. While baking the tart shell, finish preparing the gratin ingredients. Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. While the milk and cream are warming, mince the garlic. Remove the saucepan from heat once a simmer is reached and add the minced garlic. Add the nutmeg, salt, ground pepper and stir. Set aside.
6. When the tart shell is cool enough to handle, arrange the potato slices in layers in the shell and cover each layer with cheese and the milk and cream mixture. Reserve 1/4 of the grated cheese for topping the gratin.
7. Bake at 350˚ Fahrenheit until the top of the gratin is golden brown and the potatoes feel cooked when tested with a paring knife. Depending on the numbers of layers, baking time could vary from 30 minutes to 1 hour. My tart shell was relatively shallow and I only used one layer of potatoes so I baked my tart for 35 minutes.


  1. I made a google doc with links of recipes I want to try. Adding this! I love savory over sweets. :)

  2. Wouldn't you know I have pastry in the freezer, potatoes in the garden and no stinky cheese (but I know where to get some!). Calories shmalories. This gratin looks gorgeous!

  3. This looks wonderful. I am really hungry right now and would love to have a slice. I'll have to find a good place here to find stinky cheese.

  4. everything you bake is just mouthwatering :)))

  5. Mmmm! I'm feeling fat-and-happy already. Sign me up.

  6. Oh my..I have never heard of stinky cheese but I think its THE thing for a savory tart with potatoes. Send me a slice :)

  7. I have that book, and I have to say it is a real favourite of mine. I am so up for a slice of stinky cheese tart :) it just sounds fun!!!
    *kisses* HH

  8. This potato pie with raclette looks delicious, so delicate. I'd trade my lunch with a slice of this pie in no time :-)
    Hope you are having a great week Shelley!

  9. Oh noo! Too delicious. Everything you make looks so perfect. I need to adapt that into my life :D Hoping you're faring well in Texas land. Wish I could be there to help. I hear there's going to be another bake sale? Maybe I can do one in D.C.!!

  10. Hooray for stinky cheese! It sounds fantastic in the potato tart, and I like stinky cheese anyway. Love the golden top of the tart too.