HAVE MOTHER, WILL TRAVEL…and cook
Guest post by Claire Fontaine co-author of Have Mother, Will Travel
Half the fun of any trip is regaling your friends with your travel tales. If your friend also happens to be a chef, it’s all about the food. Tales of the global adventure that my daughter Mia and I took a few years back that led to our latest memoir Have Mother, Will Travel, got woven into a culinary conversation my dear pal Kelly and I have been having for the last twenty years.
The result is “Have Kelly, Will Cook”, a series of fabulous recipes created by Kelly that are inspired by the varied cuisines of some of the countries that Mia and I traveled to—Malaysia, Singapore, South France, Amsterdam, Hungary and the Middle East.
One of my favorite recipes is a scrumptious Chocolate Clementine Tart inspired by la Gourmandise, a confection unique to La Bonbonniere, a candy shop in Apt, a tiny town in Provence, France. I’ve braved gale force winds, torrents of rain, and French drivers, to buy them—glowing orange domes of candied clementines, honey, and marzipan, dunked in dark chocolate. They’re rather perishable so I have no choice but to eat every single one within a few days. You can’t imagine the pain…
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup almond paste, cut into very small pieces
4 cold eggs
Zest from 2 clementines
¼ cup Grand Marnier
6 ounces Valrhona 72% dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup almond flour
Pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
Zest from half a clementine
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Finely chopped almonds
For the filling
This filling comes together pretty quickly, so you want to have all the ingredients ready before starting. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, combine the butter, sugar, salt and almond paste and process for 15 to 20 seconds. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk slightly. With the food processor running, add the eggs all at once and process until emulsified (this should only take a few seconds), Stop the machine. Add the zest and Grand Marnier and pulse a few times. Toss the flour and chocolate together in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the processor and pulse 5 or 6 times, just to break up the chocolate a little bit. Pour the batter into a gallon zip-top bag and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.
For the crust
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer or whisk will also work), whip the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Combine the flours and salt and add to the butter mixture along with the yolk and mix until it just comes together. Press the dough into four 4-inch individual tart pans or a 9-inch tart pan. Prick well with a fork, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the honey cream
Combine all the ingredients in a chilled bowl and whisk to soft peaks (or use a mixer). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the tart(s).
To finish the tart
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the tart shell(s) on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes (for small tart shells) or 16 to 18 minutes (for a larger tart shell), or until golden brown. Set aside to cool on a baking rack. Snip ½ inch off the corner of the zip-top bag and pipe the filling into the tart shell(s); the filling should come to the top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes (for small tart shells) or 30 minutes (for a larger tart shell), turning halfway through baking. Pull the tart out of the oven when it’s just set (you want to keep a close eye toward the end so it won’t over bake). Cool the tart(s) on a wire rack. Serve with clementine segments, honey cream, and finely chopped almonds.
Make ahead: chill the filling and dough separately overnight, then finish the tart the next day.
Kelly Sterling is a professional chef, food photographer and award-winning food blogger who has graced the kitchens of Nobu Matsuhisa and The Border Girls, among others, and been featured on Gourmet magazine online.