Just look at those little guys. Aren’t they cute? Those would just be mini tart shells filled with a silky curd flavored with sweet, tangy grapefruit and aromatic, earthy basil. The tart shells were homemade, but the curd was not. It came from Monsieur Marcel, which is a store in Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market. Monsieur Marcel is full of goods that will make any kitchen cook freak, including a wide array of jarred curds, sauces, vinegars, dressings, seasonings, spices, oils, chocolates and candies. Outside of the store lies Monsieur Marcel’s restaurant where French delicacies and prime wines are served to eager patrons. On this day, though, it was all about the curd–a jar of thick, creamy curd full of citrus and herb that made two desserts feel like major treats.
Many people would not think to combine sweet desserts with herbs, but the two are actually a pair. Monsieur Marcel also offers a Lime Rosemary curd if you are into the green citrus. It’s sunny summer here in Los Angeles though, and something about bright, acidic grapefruit harkened to the warm weather. A friend wanted to reconnect, so quick and easy mini tartlets were prepared and driven to her house. The shells are a basic sweet short crust recipe full of flour, butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and a bit of vanilla. Once the shells were shaped, fully baked and cooled, they were filled with the Grapefruit Basil curd and topped with freshly whipped, sweetened cream. It was the perfect (and easy) sweet to end the meal of baked brie and Isreali couscous salad she prepared.
For a separate occasion, this monster tart was created. Well, there was really no special reason for it other than a Twitter conversation with Mark Scarbrough. There was a hash tagged chat all over Twitter about goat cheese, and Mark proclaimed that he too was a lover of the goat cheese tart. That brought back memories of the last savory tart that popped up on this site a long time ago, and it was time to reinvent the wheel. A savory dessert tart can be a pleasant switch up for the tongue, and if you pair it with something sweet, you have a great dynamic on a plate. The sweet comes from sugar of course, but also that Monsieur Marcel Grapefruit Basil Curd. Fantastique!
Before the recipe comes a gift for you. Win your own jar of Monsieur Marcel Grapefruit Basil curd by entering this giveaway! ‘Like’ Monsieur Marcel on Facebook, mention that you heard of this giveaway on DuoDishes.com and leave a comment on the M. Marcel Facebook page about what you would do with the curd. If you tag us in our post with our Facebook link, we’ll get to hear what your plans are too! It would be so nice of you to share. Do you want to try a tart? Fill cupcakes or muffins? Fold it into whipped cream? Eat it straight from the jar? Wrap it up and send to someone for their birthday? No answer is a loser! This contest is open to folks in the contiguous U.S. You have until Wednesday, August 3rd at 12:00 am PST to enter. The folks at Monsieur Marcel will then choose their winner. Enter today!
Goat Cheese and Grapefruit Basil Curd Swirl Tart– Serves 12
35-40 medium almond cookies, finely crushed (About 2 1/4 cups)*
Zest of 1 grapefruit
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs, room temperature
6 ounces Monsieur Marcel Grapefruit Basil Curd
1. Place the cookies, grapefruit zest and salt in a food processor. Blend until combined, then add the melted butter and continue to blend until the mixture forms crumbles that stick together between your fingertips.
2. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 10″ tart tin with a removable bottom and press evenly along the bottom and sides to form a crust. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
3. Once the crust has cooled, begin the filling. Beat the cream cheese, goat cheese and sugar until completely smooth. Add the sour cream and eggs and mix until incorporated.
4. Place the cooled crust on a flat surface and pour half of the goat cheese mixture along the bottom, spreading all the way to the edges. Evenly top with the curd, then pour the remaining goat cheese mixture over the curd. Be sure either goat cheese filling or curd spreads all the way to the edges of the tart shell. Using a knife or long skewer, make as many swirling shapes in the tart as you prefer.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges of the tart are set, and the inside still has a very slightly wiggle. Cool for at least an hour before serving, although it is best once cooled and chilled completely. When ready to serve, carefully lift the bottom of the tart from the ring to cut.
*You could also use gingersnaps or vanilla wafers here. The cookies you use are based on your preference.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
Monsieur Marcel provided the samples for review. The opinions expressed here are our own.