Tuesday, July 2, 2013

TWD: Baked Yogurt Tart

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan

This cake was a breeze to put together (especially since I had pie dough in the freezer) and it's so beautiful. Too bad it was lacking flavor, as is the norm with a lot of the recipes in this book.

This tart consists of eggs, sugar, non-fat yogurt, vanilla and flour, then topped with fruit and nuts. I was thinking - there is not much going on here in the flavor arena - maybe I should add something. Granted the recipe calls for two tablespoons of vanilla, that should give it a nice nuance of sweetness, and with the tangy-ness of the yogurt, I forged on as directed.

As I was licking the bowl and spatula clean of the last remnants of the deliciously soft, sweet, tangy batter, I was sure this was going to be a fabulous dessert. Unfortunately, the sweet vanilla and tangy flavor of the yogurt is lost after baking, resulting in a bland tart. (I should have gone with my gut instinct and added some lemon zest or Frangelico to the batter.)

I don't know why, but I envisioned this as having a custard like texture, when in fact it is more cheesecake like. This could have been a really good low-fat, mock cheesecake if it just had some punch to it. Made even less fattening if baked crustless in ramekins instead of a tart shell. I think this is worth playing around with.

With some flavor enhancement to the batter this could be a winner. Maybe even coating the bottom of the tart shell with lemon curd or slices of mango before adding the filling, that would be nice too.

Success meter (1-3): 1

Don't feel you need any artistic abilities to make this. The recipe instructs you to just toss the fruit on and sprinkle the outer edge with the nuts.

My tart pan was only about one-inch deep, so I had some extra batter which I filled a ramekin, sans crust - it turned out quite cute. :)

Please do stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to get the links of all the talented bakers in the group. I can assure you, you will find all kinds of adaptations to this recipe, both beautiful, and I'm sure some will be found delicious as well.

Baked Yogurt Tart
Yields 8 servings

¼ recipe flaky pie dough, well chilled (recipe follows)

3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups fresh blackberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries (or any fruit you 
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle that’s between 1/8 and ¼ inch thick. Fit the dough into a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch spring form. (The sides of the pan should be about 1½ inches high.) Press the dough against the bottom and up the sides of the pan and cut the overhang to an even ½ inch all around. Fold the overhang under itself and press and pinch the edge to crimp in a zigzag pattern.

Chill the pan for about 30 minutes.

Center rack in the oven and preheat to 400°F.

Fit a piece of parchment paper into the pan and fill with rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned. Remove weights and paper and cool the shell to room temperature on a rack. Turn the oven temp down to 325°F.

Beat eggs and sugar together with a hand-held mixer (or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) on medium speed until they thicken slightly and turn pale, 2 to 3 minutes; they needn’t form a ribbon. Switch to a rubber spatula, add the yogurt and vanilla extract, and mix just until blended. Gradually add the flour through a sifter, folding gently with the spatula.

Pour the yogurt filling into the cooled tart shell, smoothing the top with the spatula. The filling will come only about two thirds of the way up the pan- this is fine. Scatter the fruit over the top of the tart; it will probably push the filling up to the top of the crust. Sprinkle the chopped nuts around the edge of the tart.

Place the tart on a jelly-roll pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.

To unmold the tart, if you used a cake pan, cover the top of the tart with plastic wrap and a cardboard cake circle or the removable bottom of a tart pan. Invert the tart, remove the
pan, and invert again onto a cardboard cake circle or serving platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Or remove the sides of the springform (you can leave the base in place). The tart can be served at room temperature or it can be chilled if desired. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

The tart is best served the same day if possible, although it can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for a day if necessary.

Baking with Julia/Julia Child

Flaky Pie Dough
Yields 2 double-crusted pies

5¼ cups pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1½ sticks (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1¾ cups (11 oz.) solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1 cup ice water

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Add butter and cut it into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Break up the shortening and cut it in until mixture has small clumps and curds.  Add ice water, stirring with a spoon to incorporate.  Turn dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself a few times.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours or for as long as 5 days.   

The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 1 month. It’s a good idea to divide the dough into quarters for freezing since one quarter is enough for one single pie crust or tart shell. Defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Baking with Julia/Julia Child


  1. Your tart decorating is fun :-) Sorry this wasn't a hit for you.

  2. Your tart looks gorgeous. I really liked this tart and found the vanilla came through after baking. (I have been using the Kirkland stuff from Costco which I find quite good). I agree different flavours could enhance this filling. I liked how it was cheesecake like. I imagine lemon zest would be lovely.

  3. Gorgeous images of your beautiful tart! And I love the opening tile picture.

  4. It looks stunning! I'm like you though I found the filling to be rather bland and I had expected it to be more silky like a custard.

  5. Cathleen, beautiful presentation and wonderful choice of berries - I love that you added fresh blueberries to your Yogurt Tart and added delicious pecans to make it even prettier! I thought this was a nice recipe to showcase some of the season´s best berries but I agree, a little grated lemon zest would have been nice in this tart as well!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  6. Pretty tart and lovely first photo!

  7. I also thought this would be more custard-like. I liked this enough to make it again, with a bit of fiddling to get it where I want it. Yours does look very pretty--I can tell you took a lot of care in the deco'ing (whereas I just threw everything in there!).

  8. Cathy, it sure is beautiful though! I love how you decorated it. Your photos are so appetizing!

  9. Beautiful tart and lovely presentation! Sorry it lacked flavor. I love some of your ideas for this tart, especially the Frangelico! Now that sounds yummy! Happy Fourth!!

  10. Beautiful, Cathleen!!! I totally agree about it being a potential mock-cheesecake for those of us who can't eat pie crust every day. :\

  11. Your tart looks beautiful with the blueberries, mango, and pecans. I like your use of both chopped and whole pecans. I agree that the filling was disappointing but would be worth playing around with.

  12. I love you photos! Your tart is like a piece of art!!! Beautiful.
    I agree with you about the filling as well, I was expecting silky and creamy.
    The frangelico would have been wonderful in there.

  13. Your pics are beautiful. Too bad you didn't enjoy the flavor. I too think that with some adjustments, this actually could be a great low -- or lower calorie -- tart.

  14. For a recipe that you didn't like much, you sure made it look appetizing :-) The blueberries look as though a still-life painter set them right where they should be.

    This is my first visit to your blog - wonderful photos and I want to read more of your posts! I love the idea of cooking through your cookbooks - this TWD journey has been fun because I had tried a few of the Baking with Julia recipes, but have never made a thorough pass (including the good, bad, and ugly) through any of my 100+ cookbooks.

  15. I'm sorry you didn't like this one. We enjoyed it (although I tend to agree, I'm not as thrilled with the cookbook as I thought I would be) but I used full-fat yogurt, so that might have helped.


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