Beetroot tart

Beetroot tart

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

In 1996, we owned a little bistro in suburban Sydney. One day I decided to roast a small beetroot and wrap it in puff pastry and then to cook it upside down in caramel à la tarte tatin. The first version was quite disgusting but from such an inauspicious beginning, this little tart went on to gain some credibility and then notoriety. It was present on the first menu at Marque. A customer said that he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, ‘It was just a beetroot wrapped in pastry,’ which of course was the point. I immediately reinterpreted the tart (so that it could live up to the hype) using Joël Robuchon’s truffle tart as inspiration.

Ingredients

Method

  1. To make the onion confit, finely slice 1 kilogram brown onions. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt 50 grams duck fat. Add a 50 gram piece smoked speck, the sliced onions and a few thyme sprigs, cover with a cartouche and cook over a low heat for about 2 hours, or until the onions are soft and quite reduced in volume. Remove the cartouche and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, being careful not to add any colour. Add 50 millilitres pouring cream so that the mixture emulsifies, then adjust the seasoning with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the thyme and speck, cool and store until required.
  2. Wash 10 large beetroots and place in a perforated baking tray. Roast in a combi steam oven at 200°C with 50 per cent steam for 1½ hours, or until tender. Peel the beetroots while hot, then refrigerate until cool. Once cool, use a 3 centimetre pastry cutter to cut barrels from the beetroots. Slice the barrels widthwise on a mandolin to create discs 3 millimetres thick – you will need 130 beetroot slices for ten portions.
  3. Cut twenty 15 centimetre squares of baking paper. Melt 100 grams duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush ten of the paper squares with melted duck fat. Sit a 10 centimetre pastry cutter on top of a greased baking paper square. Place one slice of beetroot in the centre, then fan twelve slices around the edge, each overlapping the previous slice by half. Remove the pastry cutter, then brush the top with more duck fat. Repeat to make nine more galettes. Top each galette with another square of paper to store.
  4. For the puff pastry you will require one-sixth of the puff pastry recipe. Take the puff pastry block and roll to 6 millimetres thick. Allow to rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Take a 15 centimetre pastry cutter and cut ten discs from the pastry. Allow to rest for a further 1 hour in the refrigerator before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. Place the pastry discs on the trays and cover with another sheet of baking paper. Place 1 centimetre high ‘spacers’ in the corners, such as 1 centimetre high tart tins – the ‘spacers’ will allow the puff pastry discs to rise but not too much. Place another baking tray of similar size on top of the spacers. Top this tray with weights to prevent the tray buckling and the pastry lifting the tray. Bake the pastry for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cooked golden all the way through to the centre layers. Cool on cooling racks and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  6. To make the horseradish milk, wash and peel 200 grams fresh horseradish root and grate into 500 millilitres milk. Blend to combine then bring to the boil with 165 millilitres pouring cream. Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 2 hours. Strain and season to taste with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground white pepper.
  7. Preheat the oven to 170°C. When ready to serve, take the puff pastry discs and top each with 1 tablespoon of onion confit. Invert the beetroot galettes on top of the tart, leaving the top piece of paper on. Warm the tarts in the oven for 10 minutes to heat the beetroot and crisp the pastry. Meanwhile warm the horseradish milk, then froth with a wand blender to produce a thick mousse.
  8. To serve, place the tarts on warm plates and remove the discs of baking paper. Spoon a little of the horseradish mousse around the edge of the tarts. Garnish the tarts with small sprigs of thyme. Season with a little Murray River pink salt and serve.
Tags:
Marque
Mark
Best
Pei
Modern
restaurant
chef
high
end
fine
dining
challenging
complex
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