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Tonight's Dinner: Lamb tart

Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing, vintage clothes, old movies and cooking, especially dinners and desserts. Jennifer loves writing so much that whenever she has a spare moment, she spends it writing fiction or ad...

Puff pastry makes the perfect crust

Puff pastry is one of those universal pastries that can be used for everything from turnovers to crisps. So why not use it for a lighter pie crust instead of a heavy flour-laden one.

If there's one pastry I can't get enough of, it's puff pastry. I love it for its versatility. I mean, I've used it for everything from topping chicken pot pies to using it as a pizza crust to cutting it up in little pieces and topping it with cheese or cold cuts for cute little appetizers. But I'd never thought of using it as an actual pie crust. I don't know why I'd never considered this, I just never have. It's probably because the pie crusts are right next to the boxes of frozen puff pastry. So if I was ever going to make a pie or quiche, I'd either make a crust from scratch or if I was in a pinch, I'd just pick up a frozen one. But recently Better Homes and Gardens recommended using puff pastry for a pie crust. It was ingenious. The crust was much lighter than a regular frozen crust and a nice change of pace from the old standard. It really is the perfect alternative.

Lamb Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless lamb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, like a chardonnay
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed

Directions:

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about seven minutes or until onions start to brown. Remove the onion mixture from the skillet.
  2. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook the lamb for about four minutes in the remaining one tablespoon of oil. Return the onion mixture to the skillet. Add the wine, salt, cumin and black pepper and cook for about five more minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the apricots. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one pastry sheet to a 12-inch square. Carefully transfer the pastry to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry into bottom and up sides of the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
  4. Transfer the meat mixture to the pastry in the tart pan. Roll out the remaining pastry sheet to a 12-inch square, then trim to a 10-inch circle. Cut slits for vents. Then place pastry circle on top of the filling. Lightly brush the overhang with water and seal the tart by pressing top and bottom edges of the pastry together. Trim any excess pastry.
  5. Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. You may need to cover the pastry with foil for the last five to 10 minutes so it doesn't overbrown. Transfer the tart in the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the sides of the pan and transfer the tart to a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

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