Tarte Pomme de Terre (Potato Pie)
You won't see any potato pies on an approved list for the Atkins diet. Along with a fluffy puff pastry shell, you have layers of sweet tomato sauce and fried potatoes. But that's not all! Add to that a layer of crème fraîche and some cheese. The only green is the garlic chives. It may not be healthy, but it sure is delicious! If you're feeling guilty, pair the pies with a healthy green salad.
The procedure is very similar to the leek quiches I made a few months ago.
Yields: 66 squares puff pastry dough, store-bought
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, charred
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (10 oz)
2 Tbs olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, finely diced
2 tsp herbes de Provence
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tsp red chili flakes
8-10 red potatoes
4 Tbs canola oil
4 Tbs creme fraiche, as needed
2 Tbs mozarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbs garlic chives
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the puff pastry:
Apply a think layer of butter, then flour each mini tart pan. Place the pie crust in each mold, and then following the curve of the mold, crimp the dough against the edge. Leave a little excess above the edge because the dough will settle a bit in the oven. Dock the dough (make hole using a fork). Line each mold with a disk of parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Get the pie pans out of the refrigerator. Fill each mold with pie weights or dry beans so that no air bubbles get trapped underneath the dough while cooking. Place the mini pie molds in the oven for 12 minutes. I used the convection mode so you might extend the time by 3 minutes if using a traditional oven. Remove the parchment paper, then bake for another 3 minutes so the pie crust can dry. Remove from the heat and let the dough cool down.
For the sauce:
Roasting bell peppers is very easy. Once you know how to make them yourself, you'll never buy the ones in a jar again. To start with, cut the stem off the pepper. Wash it, pat it dry, then brush the bell pepper with oil. Grill the bell pepper directly on your stove, charring all the outer skin. Don't burn your hands! Once the bell pepper is black all the way around, remove from the stove and wrap it in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash the bell pepper under running tap water; the skin will come right off. Cut the bell pepper in half. Seed it, then dice it.
In a saucepan, add the olive oil, wait until it's slightly hot. Add the shallots, garlic and onions. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes then add the herbes de provence. Add the tomatoes, diced red bell pepper and the chili flakes. Simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce should be spreadable and thick. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. If you get lumpy pieces of bell peppers or tomatoes, do not hesitate to use a handheld immersion blender.
For the potatoes:
Wash the potatoes. Place them in a pot filled with water, boil them for about 15-20 minutes. You still want your potatoes to hold their shape. Peel the potatoes. Slice them about 1/4-inch thick.
In a fry pan, add the canola oil. Add the sliced potatoes and cook them at medium low heat for about 15 minutes until they're tender and crispy golden.
Whisk the creme fraiche until it's firm. Set aside.
Place the thick tomato sauce in each pie shell, then fill them with the sliced potatoes forming a pretty flower shape by fanning the slices out.. Place a little dollop of creme fraiche. Spread it out using a small spatula, then sprinkle a little cheese. Place in the oven then bake for 8 minutes at 410°F . Let the potato pies cool down for about 10 minutes. Add another dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkle a little garlic chive.
Don't discard the remnants of puff pastry. Make some cheese twists the next day!
It's best to pick cork-shaped potatoes so all the slices are the same size.
Boiling the potatoes prior to frying is just a way to save some time. You can skip the step, but then it'll take longer for the potato slices to become tender when you fry them.
Crème fraîche is the French version of sour cream. It has a very nice tangy taste and richer mouth feel. I get it from my local market. If you cannot find it, you can substitute with regular sour cream or make your own at a low cost. Place a tablespoon of buttermilk and one cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat up to 110°F. Transfer to a glass jar, cover with a cheesecloth and set it aside next to a warm place for a whole day. The mixture will have a thicker consistency. Store it in the refrigerator, you can keep it for up to 2 weeks.
Spring has definitely arrived. I'm getting my first garlic chives in our garden and they are so fragrant!
Published By: on March 19, 2009.