I admit that I’m not usually a beer person– it’s just not my thing, for the most part. But in certain applications, it can be a fun ingredient! This is one of those applications– not only is this tart delicious, but it makes a great dessert for any beer lovers you may know (and any people who, like me, aren’t necessarily beer fans).
I got the recipe from David Lebovitz, who has some great desserts (and a fabulous ice cream book that I use every summer to make my own ice creams) and lives in Paris, so I was confident that he wouldn’t fail me when it came to something called “French Beer Tart.” I was right.
This tart won rave reviews from all tasters– everyone really liked how you could taste the beer (so use one you like) without it being overpowering. One thing I might try next time would be more salt in the crust, or perhaps some ground-up pretzels instead of some of the flour. But the filling is perfect– wouldn’t change a thing.
French Beer Tart (from David Lebovitz)
Tart dough (Pate sablee)
1 cup, plus 5 tablespoons (195g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4oz, 115g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 large egg
1. Mix the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor until combined. Add the butter and process in pulses until the butter is in small pieces, about the size of small peas.
2. Add the egg and continue to process the dough until it comes together in an almost-smooth mass.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a disk with your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or put in a cool place.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s a 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and fit the dough into the pan, including into the corners, trying your best not to stretch the dough out. Trim any excess dough by rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tart and reserve some of the scraps of dough for patching the tart later.
5. Prick the dough about five times with a fork and chill the dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line the frozen tart dough in the mold with foil and fill the foil with dried beans or pie weights.
7. Bake until the sides are light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the beans and foil and bake for a few more minutes, about 5-7, until the bottom is very light brown. (If it’s puffed up, gently press it down with a spatula, being careful not to tear the dough.) Remove the tart shell from oven but leave the oven on.
8. Use bits of the reserved dough to fill in any holes or cracks, including those from the tines of the fork. It’s best to knead the bits of dough with your fingertips to soften them first, then gently work them over any holes in the still-warm dough with a soft touch, to cover them over. (This is a really important step, as you don’t want leaking!)
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons packed (230g) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (250ml) brown ale or stout
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the beer, vanilla, and salt.
2. Scrape the beer mixture into the pre-baked tart shell. Strew the 2 tablespoons of butter cubes over the tart and bake the tart until it’s just set, 30 to 35 minutes. The filling will puff up and be jiggly and soft, like barely-set jello, when it’s ready. Let the tart cool on a wire rack before serving.