Don't know who Boulud is? Born and trained in France, and worked his way up to Executive Chef at New York’s Le Cirque, then left to open a series of restaurants, including DANIEL and Café Boulud. He is also author of a number of food-related books, including the recent Letters to a Young Chef and Chef Daniel Boulud Cooking in New York City.
So you would figure this guy knows how to cook. And you would figure right.
Daniel Boulud's recipe for Mediterranean Tomato-Lemon Tart
Yield: 6 Servings
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Tomato and lemon custard
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme, leaves chopped
8 plum tomatoes, peeled, halved, and seeded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup halved, pitted Niçoise olives
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped basil leaves
For tart shell
Put the flour, butter, zest, and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the egg and pulse just until moist curds form—don’t over process. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it once or twice to pull it together. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.)
Place an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a tart ring on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly dust a work surface and the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough out into a round that is approximately 10 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. As you roll, lift the dough and, if necessary, dust with flour. Fit the dough into the bottom and against the side of the pan, taking care not to stretch it. Trim the excess dough even with the pan’s rim. If the dough cracks, use lightly moistened scraps to fill the cracks. Refrigerate the tart shell for at least 30 minutes.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line the crust with a parchment-paper round and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and bake 3 to 5 minutes more, or until lightly colored. Transfer to a rack to cool. (The crust can be kept at room temperature for up to 8 hours.)
Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil, brush with 1 Tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the garlic and thyme. Place the tomato halves, cut side down, sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 1 hour until the tomatoes are tender but still able to hold their shape; set aside.
Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, yolks, lemon juice, olives, and basil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Place the tart shell on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in the tart shell and pour the custard mixture over. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until the custard is set. Transfer to a rack to cool
From Daniel’s Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four Star Chef by Daniel Boulud.
So, when you want something special, what do you cook? Or what do you bake?