That said, I have been following recipes to the letter lately as part of the Joy the Baker cook off that I recently participated in, and this has left me itching to experiment a bit. And so I decided to try a fluffy tart.
I made a custard as I normally would for a quiche or tart, only I separated all the yolks and whites (except for one), beat the egg whites and folded them into the custard. The resulting texture is somewhere in between a quiche and a souffle - puffy, cheesy, airy, and almost flan-like, anchored by a surprisingly light olive oil tart crust.
For the olive oil crust, I followed the proportions and method laid out at Chocolate and Zucchini , only I used whole wheat pastry flour. It's really the easiest tart crust you'll ever make.
Ham and Cheese Fluffy Tart
5 eggs, separated, plus one egg
3/4 cup half and half
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper
pinch of Cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped ham (I used Virginia ham)
1 1/2 cups grated Emmenthal cheese
In a bowl, whisk together the 5 egg yolks, whole egg, half and half, salt, white pepper and Cayenne. Set aside. In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until peaks form. Fold into the egg yolk mixture in thirds. Fold in the ham and cheese. Fill a tart crust 3/4 of the way full and bake in a 375 F oven until puffy and brown, about 30 minutes.
This made extra, and so I poured excess filling into random other containers, not expecting much. I was happily surprised when this resulted in some very airy cheesy not-quite-souffle dishes:
These make a fabulous breakfast the day after - and because they never puff up like a souffle, they don't fall and get dense overnight.
If you'd like to participate in French Fridays, pick up a copy of Around My French Table and get cooking. (Or you can do what I do and make it all up as you along!) And make sure to check out what the other Doristas did.
Happy French Friday!