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Custard Tart with Wine-Poached Grapes

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Serves eight.

Sweet, citrusy custard and a nutty almond crust make a perfect backdrop for the tender poached grapes in this elegant dessert.

For the crust
  • 3-1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces; more for the pan
  • 3-3/8 oz. (3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 large egg yolk, chilled
For the filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbs. dry white wine, preferably Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the topping
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, preferably Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 65 seedless red grapes (2-1/4 cups)
Make the crust

Butter a 4x13 1/2-inch rectangular fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, and salt in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely chopped, about 40 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 seconds. Add the egg yolk and process until moist clumps form. With lightly floured hands, press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared tart pan. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 375°F. Bake the crust on the heated baking sheet until light golden on the bottom and golden-brown on the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the filling

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, lime juice, and white wine until well blended. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 3 minutes. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and let cool until warm.

Whisk the cream into the filling and pour the mixture into the baked tart shell. Bake at 375°F until the filling begins to slightly puff and bubble around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the topping

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, boil the wine, honey, sugar, and lime juice over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a thick syrup and begins to darken slightly, 4 to 5 minutes—you should have about 1/4 cup. Reduce the heat to low, add the grapes, cover, and poach gently over low heat until tender, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the grapes to a dinner plate. Continue to boil the poaching liquid until syrupy, about 1 minute. Randomly place the grapes on top of the tart, pressing slightly into the filling. Gently brush the glaze over the grapes. Let the tart cool completely at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 390; Fat (g): fat g 21; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 11; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 46; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 180; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 180; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very tasty custard. Syrup was a little more runny than I expected. I even cooked longer to reduce. None the less, this recipe is a keeper...

A very tasty tart and a unique idea for grapes. The custard filling was on the loose side resulting in some messy slices. Also the tart dough required a couple sessions of refrigeration before it was firm enough to easily press into the tart pan without sticking to everything. However, these minor complaints didn't stop it from being happily consumed at the party I took it to.

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