Excerpted from HEART OF THE ARTICHOKE by David Tanis (Artisan Books). Copyright 2010. Christopher Hirsheimer photographer.The notion of a dessert made with chard may sound bizarre, but it's traditional in the South of France and Italy. Because of the baking powder the pastry will puff as it bakes-the resulting texture is more like a cake than a pie. Serve a small slice of tart with a glass of mint tea to end this meal.
For the dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder [Note: The book says 1 Tablespoon, but 1 Teaspoon seems more appropriate]
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
For the filling
- 1 large bunch chard, trimmed, ribs discarded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water until plumped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
To make the dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the flat beater, mix the dry ingredients on low speed. Add the butter and mix for about 2 minutes more, until crumbly. Add the egg mixture and the lemon zest and mix another minute, or until you can pinch the dough together.
Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer
Turn the dough out and form 2 balls, one twice as big as the other. Chill for at least an hour.
To make the filling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the chard for 1 minute; drain well. Let cool, and squeeze out any liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, egg, sugar, lemon zest, and spices.
Dust a pastry cloth with flour and roll out the larger dough ball into a circle 2 inches larger than the diameter of your 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it over the pan and gently press it into place, so that it comes about 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Expect the dough to be pretty soft; if it tears, just press on a scrap to cover any holes.
Drain the raisins, mix them with the greens, and spread over the dough in the pan. Pour the ricotta mixture over the greens and smooth out. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the ricotta.
To make the lattice top, roll out the second piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Fashion a lattice top by alternating crosswise and lengthwise strips. Leave a gap of 3/4 inch between strips running in the same direction.
Fold the edges of the bottom crust over the ends of the lattice strips. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden.
Cool on a rack before serving.