Monday, September 29, 2014

Salted Honey Rose Tart

I won't let another year go by without feeding you this luscious tart. It sings with the flavor of a rose honey custard, which is offset by a glittering blanket of the finest pink salt. Oh, let my heart be still. This is a tart of exquisite taste. She only deserves to be served with the finest silver, upon the floral heirloom china. But lest one not have the finest china or the polished silver, this tart still aims to please. She's just as content on an old tin plate in a meadow filled with wildflowers.

I discovered her last year. She was frolicking on the internet in a post about bees and honey. A glorious post with glorious photographs and I immediately claimed her for my files. I baked her and served her and received rave reviews. So much so that I baked her again this year and she still was a hit.

Roses are one of my favorite flowers, (I prefer pink, thank you) though I never liked rose flavoring in food. Rose water is a very common flavoring in Persian and Middle Eastern desserts. I think the first time I tasted rosewater in a dessert was in a rice pudding. It just wasn't my thing. I thought I was eating perfume.But I'm older now and much more adventurous and something made me want to try this. Perhaps it was the glorious photos or perhaps it was that I am always looking for honey desserts in the fall.

I guarantee that this will be a hit, but if you are afraid of that dreadful rose, just substitute vanilla, or orange or even coffee. But I implore you, to please give rose a try. The world will sing your praises in a chorus of, "This is so good. What is that I'm tasting?", to which you will respond, "A good cook never gives away her secrets." OR just maybe, you can tell them where you found the recipe and direct them to my blog. I love new readers!

I will also tell you that this tart's crust is flaky and tender and as sweet as could be, when it comes to rolling her out. I admit to not being the best pastry maker, but this recipe makes it easy. I put it to good use in other ways and just set the rose flavoring aside on those occasions. Go ahead. After all, a rose is a rose until it becomes a tart!

Salted Honey Rose Tart - Adventures in Cooking
Serves 12 - this is one rich tart! Makes 1 10" tart
Time to Make: About 30 minutes active, 45 minutes baking
2 1/4 c flour
2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
1 c butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 T rosewater
4-7 T of ice water (I put ice cubes in a glass of water)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter. The bigger the butter chunks, the more flakiness in your crust. Obviously, you don't want to leave them huge, but it is OK to see the butter when you roll it out. Now stir in the rosewater and slowly start adding one tablespoon of ice water while mixing. Use your hands to form this into a ball. I roll out on a floured piece of plastic wrap and also cover the dough with floured plastic wrap while I am rolling. Don't yell, but it works for me. Like I said, I am not an expert at pie dough. Roll it until it is a few inches bigger than your tart pan. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place the dough in the tart pan. Now peel off the bottom layer of wrap. Don't worry if the dough tears, it is easy to patch together. Chill in fridge, while making filling.

Filling Ingredients:
3/4 c sugar
3 T cornmeal
1/4 t salt
1/2 c melted butter
2 t rosewater
2 t white vinegar
1/4 t salt
3/4 c honey
3 eggs
1/2 c heavy cream

1-3 t of Himalayan fine pink salt, but others work well, too

Preheat oven to 350. Combine sugar, cornmeal and melted butter in a medium sized bowl. Mix together rosewater, vinegar,salt and honey. Add to sugar mixture. Beat eggs with cream and blend well. No need to overdue it. Fold into the mixture. Pour into tart shell. 

Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool for two hours at room temperature. Sprinkle top with salt. Serve! When you remove it from the oven the top should be set and not jiggly, though when you cut it, the inside will be rich and custardy.

Please note: This is best served on the day it is made.

Other good things to try:
Salted Butterscotch Chocolate Tart
Fudge Brownies with Cookie Dough Filling
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Rugelach
Lemon Rose Madeleines