Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Vegetable Tart - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 37th Installment.  The recipe is Summer Vegetable Tart.

Hmmm...was this a success?  It is a phyllo pie shell, which you pre-bake, and then fill with a lightly cooked vegetable mixture, topped with goat cheese, and then served.  It had a lot of potential.  The flavors were definitely yummy, although I found the whole thing didn't really hold together.  When we sliced it, the phyllo shattered and the loose filling, which wasn't really coherent, fell all over the place, so calling it a "tart" seems like stretching the term.  Also - what's with the edge draped over?  Seems very messy, although part of the problem was my shredding phyllo (see below).  It left me wondering if I did something wrong somewhere along the way.  I will check out the rest of the crowd's attempt at this dish to see if there's some improvement that I can try.

I did experience the dreaded "Phyllo Frustration Syndrome", with the phyllo layers shredding as I attempting to separate them from the pile, butter them, and lay them in the dish.  I patched it together and kept going.  I used whole wheat phyllo from the natural food store - it tasted good, but maybe that contributed to the dryness. 

The shell after baking - not exactly pretty...
When I first started my work life, my housemate and I got on a kick of preparing phyllo-based dishes. It was my first experience with phyllo, and I thought 'it's not as hard as everyone says".  It was relatively easy to work with.  I wonder if we were just getting really good quality, fresh, phyllo, because recently my attempts to bake with phyllo have been very frustrating - the dough is dry and is impossible to manipulate without it completely falling apart.  So, now I'm seeing what everyone was talking about when they said that it's 'hard to bake with phyllo'.  I do love it, so will keep on trying, and maybe looking for places to get it where the phyllo hasn't been in the freezer section for a long time (good excuse for a visit to the Armenian grocery stores!)

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