Artichoke Tart With Gouda and Herbs
Makes 6 to 8 servings
For ease, we use frozen puff pastry as the crust instead of homemade pie dough. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.
Marinated artichokes, which are highly seasoned, won’t work here; canned artichoke hearts packed in water are right for this recipe.
Be sure to pat the artichokes dry so their moisture doesn’t water down the filling. When placing the artichokes in the custard, don’t fully submerge them, as the finished tart looks best when pieces are visible on the surface.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, quartered if whole, and patted dry
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
¾ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup lightly packed fresh basil, finely chopped
8 large eggs
½ cup half-and-half
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded (½ cup)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position. With a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a 12-inch square. Invert a 9-inch glass pie plate onto the square and, using a paring knife or pizza cutter and the rim of the pie plate as a guide, cut the pastry into a circle about 1 inch larger than the pie plate all the way around.
Lift off the pie plate and set it right side up on the counter. Remove and discard the pastry scraps. To transfer the dough, roll the pastry circle around the rolling pin, then unroll it onto the pie plate. Ease the pastry into the corners and up the sides of the plate. Fold the edges under, then crimp. Refrigerate, uncovered, until slightly firmed and chilled, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the artichokes with the oil, garlic, and half each of the parsley and basil; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, the remaining herbs, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Remove the pastry-lined pie plate from the refrigerator. Using a fork, poke holes all over the bottom and sides of the pastry to prevent it from puffing up. Evenly sprinkle both cheeses over the bottom of the pastry, then pour in the egg mixture. Place the artichokes in the filling, laying them so the interior layers are visible, and sprinkle on any herb-garlic mixture remaining in the bowl.
Bake until the center of the filling does not jiggle when the pie plate is gently shaken, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Melon Salad With Arugula, Pistachios, and Goat Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Look for sumac in either the international section or the spice aisle of the supermarket, or in Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Be sure to salt the melon and cucumber. The salt draws out some water and helps prevent the dressing from becoming diluted.
4 cups cubed watermelon (1-inch cubes), chilled
1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into ½-inch chunks
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground sumac
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 5-ounce container baby arugula
½ cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
In a colander set in a large bowl, toss the melon and cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt; set aside. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, sumac, cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Stir in the onion and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the melon mixture, arugula, and pistachios. Gently toss, then taste and season with salt and black pepper. Top with the cheese.
Plum Cake With Spiced Almond Crumble
Makes 12 to 14 servings
This fruit-forward adaptation of a recipe from the award-winning book suqar by Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf is ideal for a weekend brunch, but is special enough to serve as dessert after a summery meal. For prepping the baking pan or dish, we use baking spray, which is a mixture of oil and flour, to help guarantee that slices of the cake are easy to remove for serving. If you don’t have baking spray, butter the pan or dish, dust it with flour, then tap out the excess. Note that if you use a glass or ceramic baking dish rather than a metal pan, the baking times are slightly longer.
The crumble mixture should not be left at room temperature while you make the cake batter. Freezing it, as the recipe instructs, helps ensure the crumble bakes up with a pleasantly pebbly texture. The chilled crumble mixture is sprinkled onto the cake midway through baking so it remains on the surface and does not sink into the batter. Note that the butter for the streusel should be cool room temperature, but the butter for the cake must be at room temperature so it creams easily and yields a light, aerated batter.
If you like, dust the cake with powdered sugar just before serving, or spoon on a little whipped cream, gelato, or ice cream.
For the crumble:
½ cup (48 grams) sliced almonds
½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (109 grams) packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cilantro
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (57 grams) salted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, cool room temperature
For the cake:
1½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (114 grams) sour cream, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1½ sticks (170 grams) salted butter, room temperature
1¼ cups (267 grams) white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1½ pounds (680 grams) ripe, semi-firm red or black plums (4 to 6 medium-large), halved, pitted, and each half cut into 4 wedges
To make the crumble, in a 10-inch skillet set over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and let cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cardamom, coriander, allspice, and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat the pieces, then, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is mostly incorporated and in pea-sized pieces. Stir in the almonds. Transfer to a pie plate and, using your hands, press the mixture into an even layer about ¼ inch thick. Freeze uncovered until ready to use.
To make the cake, heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or baking dish with baking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and white sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on medium-low, add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Increase to medium speed and beat until the mixture is fluffy and aerated, about 1 minute.
With the mixer running on low, add about one-third of the dry ingredients followed by about half of the sour cream mixture. Next, add about half of the remaining dry ingredients, then the remaining sour cream mixture and finally the remaining dry ingredients. Mix on low until just combined, about 1 minute. Fold a few times with a spatula to ensure no pockets of flour remain. The batter will be thick.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread it in an even layer. Arrange the plum wedges on the surface in three rows along the length of the pan, overlapping them slightly if needed. Bake for 25 minutes if using a metal pan or for 30 minutes if using a glass or ceramic dish; the cake will be lightly browned on top and have enveloped some or all of the fruit.
Remove the crumble mixture from the freezer and the cake from the oven (close the oven door). Working quickly, sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly onto the cake, breaking it up into pieces no larger than ½ inch (the topping should resemble a mixture of damp sand and pebbles). Continue to bake until the crumble is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean, another 20 to 25 minutes if using a metal pan or another 25 to 30 minutes if using a glass or ceramic dish. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.
Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send comments to email@example.com.