Summer Squash Lattice Top Tart

I think I've had this recipe tucked away in my recipe binder for at least five years.  I believe I cut it out from a Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I can't say for certain.  I actually forgot about this squash tart recipe until I came across it in search of something else.  I'm so thankful I found it now since summer squash and zucchini are so plentiful now.  

If I had to rank the difficulty level of creating this tart, I would say it is moderately difficult if you make the tart crust from scratch.  That is more due to the time needed vs. the technique ability to make the crust.  This is the same crust I used in making my Tomato Galette in Sept 2013.  The crust consists of 5 ingredients (flour, butter, sugar, salt, and water) and requires little kneading, so that part is easy.  But, you have to chill the dough for 30-60 minutes prior to rolling it out otherwise the little particles of butter in the dough will melt causing all hopes of a crisp, flaky crust to be lost. 

Another time consuming task to make this tart is blind baking the crust.  Blind baking refers to pre-baking the dough with pie weights in order to cook the tart shell thoroughly before you place the filling into it.  The reasoning behind this is to prevent the tart shell from getting soggy when the wet ingredients are added.   

I hope the time requirements do not deter you from trying this tart.  It is so good and the lattice top will surely impress your family or guests.  The filling not as heavy as a quiche, but is rich and satisfying. This summer squash tart would be appropriate for a brunch, dinner, or just to celebrate summer!  Here's wishing you good food and gladness!

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Ingredients for Summer Squash Tart (serves 8 - 12)

Crust:  

  • 2.5 cups (315 grams) of All purpose flour

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter- chilled, slice into pats, then dice into 1/4 inch pieces

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 to 1 cup ice cold water

Filling:

  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly slice one and small dice the other

  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, thinly slice one and small dice the other

  • 1 large white onion, thin slice

  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

  • 1 large whole egg + 1 egg yolk

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • olive oil, for brushing top of lattice and sauteing vegetables

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

Directions for Summer Squash Tart with lattice top

  1. Pastry Dough- Place 1 cup of water in freezer to chill for 10 to 15 min.  In a large metal bowl {metal tends to keep the dough cooler than plastic or glass bowls}, whisk together dry ingredients.  Add chilled, diced butter cubes.  Use a pastry knife or 2 forks to mix together dry ingredients and butter.  The mixture should be lumpy with butter, but well coated in flour.  Start to drizzle ice cold water, 1/2 cup to start, over the flour/butter.  Ditch the pastry knife and use hands to incorporate.  Continue to add small amounts of ice cold water until dough can be held together.  Knead dough, only 4-5 turns, should still have very small pieces of visible butter.  Shape dough into round disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least one hour up to overnight, or 30 minutes in the freezer.

  2. After the tart dough is chilled, roll out into a rectangle shape just slightly larger than the tart pan (8" x 11") and about 1/4 inch thick.  Transfer the dough into the tart pan (sprayed with non-stick spray and lightly floured).  Gently press dough into the pan, trim the edges flush with the pan.  Transfer to the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  3. Remove tart shell from freezer, then prick the bottom and sides with a fork (docking) to prevent bubbling in the crust.  Line the shell with parchment paper, then fill with baking weights or dried beans.  Bake about 15 minutes with the weights, then carefully remove the weights and parchment.  Return shell to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 additional minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

  4. (While tart shell is blind baking) In a large saute pan over medium heat, pour about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add sliced onions, a pinch of salt and cook until tender.  Add diced squash and zucchini and one more pinch of salt.  Cook with occasional stirring until lightly brown yet slightly firm.  Add pepper to taste and fresh thyme.  Set aside.

  5. In a small bowl, mix together with a fork whole egg, egg yolk, heavy cream and cheese.  Set aside.

  6. Fill tart shell with the cooked squash, zucchini, and onions.  Pour the egg, cream, and cheese mixture over the veggies.  

  7. Pat dry the thinly sliced squash.  Using alternating colors, weave a lattice pattern over the top.  Trim or tuck ends in to fit into the pan.  Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the lattice with olive oil.  Loosely cover with foil.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes on the middle rack.  Remove the foil and bake 10-15 more minutes until golden.  Remove and place onto a wire rack to slightly cool before serving.  Use a serrated knife to cut when serving.