This week was all about decoration. I thought about pulling out my piping tips and doing some kind of meringue or whipped cream decoration, but ultimately I decided to go a more laid-back route.
Ultimately, this tart didn’t turn out quite as beautifully as I had hoped, but I was really pleased with the flavors.
I think a different treatment of the sweet potatoes and the red wine would have allowed me to impart the same flavors while having a better presentation.
All the same, a tasty pie is a tasty pie.
½ cup walnuts
1 ½ cups flour
1 stick butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 medium red onion
8 oz Italian sausage
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
12 oz tobasi (or other creamy, pungent cheese), at room temperature
1 tsp black pepper
1 medium sweet potato
½ cup red wine
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp ginger
⅛ tsp allspice
1 tbsp water
½ tbsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toast your walnuts until they are quite fragrant – if anything, err on the side of burnt, rather than underdone. Combine all of the ingredients for your crust in a food processor and blitz until dough becomes smooth. Remove from machine and pack into a large tart pan, making sure to press into the sides as well. Bake at 425°F for 6 minutes. Crust will not be fully done, but rather lightly toasted. Decrease oven temperature to 350°F.
Put red wine, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice into a saucepan and allow to reduce by half. This will take time.
Slice a red onion in half and then into slices. Put into a frying pan with a couple pats of butter, and allow to cook down. In an additional pan, crumble your sausage, and cook until no longer raw. Once your onions are cooked down, add your brown sugar and allow to caramelize. Add in your cooked sausage and saute together for about a minute more.
Blitz your cream cheese, and tobasi in a food processor until creamy. Add your egg and black pepper and continue to mix until well combined. Use a spatula to avoid any clumps or unmixed material.
If your red wine has reduced, make a slurry with your cornstarch and water and add it to the reduction. Allow this to cook for another minute or two until thickened, but not gelatinous.
Peel and slice sweet potato into thin (about ¼ cm) half-moon pieces.
Take your pre-baked tart shell and layer in your onions and sausage. Pour on your cheese layer and spread smooth. Layer your sweet potatoes on top in a decorative fashion. Brush your red wine sauce on top of the sweet potatoes, covering, but not drenching them.
Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.