I used to usually just have this impression of mint as a garnish. Something like a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar.
That changed with this tart. Now every time I imagine a cake or a tart or any dessert really (all frequent fantasies), they always seem to come heaping with mint.
The most recent was a layered blueberry (we have some frozen blueberries right now and they’ve been dwelling heavily on my mind) meringue cake with chamomile cream, lemon and ack! piles of mint. Oh well. I’ll grow out of it–maybe.
Mint is so lovely and works with anything; I can understand why one might want to put a few leaves on any sort of dessert. At the same time, mint is so flavourful, it can’t always be relegated to just a garnish, with only a small sprig. It’s so refreshing to have a generous amount of fresh mint in anything–savoury or sweet. (Another thing: I would take piles of basil on anything, sweet or savoury, if we had any.)
I really enjoyed this tart. It was not too sweet at all, nor was it too sour (which I was a bit concerned about due to previous experience that things made with yoghurt were too sour).
The tart was, in a word, refreshing. It was moist and a bit sweet and a bit tart. It was not too rich either, and the combination of rose and fresh mint was really lovely.
This is also a recipe that I’ve spent a bit more time on, making it a couple times. There isn’t too much to it, but I really wanted to make sure it worked. Buckwheat pastry, thin almond sponge to catch a rose and mint syrup, then very rich rosewater yoghurt, pomelo, and mint.
I did some experimentation with the amount of buckwheat in the pastry. Generally the idea I’ve gotten is that more is better! Though, while I liked the addition flavour, the more buckwheat you use, the more difficult the pastry is to work with. This has a moderate amount.
I also tried increasing the cake layer. A thicker cake layer absorbs more syrup, however it also becomes more distracting and a bit too noticeable. I prefer it with only a thin cake, no thicker than the layer of yoghurt over top. It takes up a bit of syrup and provides sweetness to the tart, but it’s not all big and clunky and too cake-y.
If you’re making it ahead of time, don’t assemble it too soon. The mint gradually wilts and the yoghurt absorbs into the cake and dried up a bit on the top after a day. If all the components are prepared ahead of time, it’s very quick to put together–just smear on the yoghurt, scatter with pre-peeled pomelo pieces and mint leaves.
I also submitted it to the Food52 tart competition which I heard about via Suzanne‘s blog. The whole thing was a bit nerve-wracking. Submitting a recipe amongst all the others (really incredible sounding, all of them!) doesn’t mean that it will be tried and so it’s not exactly that. What is different though, is that I’ve presented a recipe with the express purpose of possibly being tried.
I made this blog to act as reference for myself. It has everything all nicely organized and searchable…though with so many things unpublished, I usually search in my drafts, not actually on the blog.
I think everything here is fairly accurate. I try to give clear instructions of what I do and accurate measurements. I also try to provide an evaluation of how something turned out that is honest; and all of this is mostly for me. I just don’t blog thinking about others trying to replicate what I’ve made.
(Not that I don’t want anyone to try anything! I love any sort of interaction–particularly if someone took inspiration from something I made–perhaps the format or the flavours, and worked that into their own food.)
This time it was different. This is a recipe that I tested with other people in mind and it makes me very nervous. It such a responsibility! It doesn’t matter whether anyone tries it, what’s making me nervous is that it’s supposed to work. It’s supposed to be trustworthy.
Is the pastry easy enough to handle? I like a really thin pastry to keep it delicate and not too overwhelming, but rolling it out thinly makes it more difficult to line the pan. I also make just enough to line the pan with only a few scraps…maybe I should make more so it’s easier.
Is the sponge alright? Is it clear enough that one would need to whisk the eggs enough? (I’ve had a horrible sponge cake experience where I was too lazy to whisk the eggs sufficiently). Did I adequately describe the steps?
Will this work with other yoghurts? What about yoghurt more sour than the one I used? In that case will the tart be too tart? Same with pomelo? A sweet pomelo? A sour pomelo? What about the rosewater…what if it’s a lot stronger than the rosewater I use or if it’s a lot weaker?
Oh gosh what if in a hypothetical scenario a hypothetical person made this and they didn’t like it? That would be devastating and frustrating–for both of us!
Anyways, to alleviate my stress, I’m trying something a bit different with this post. I’ve seen this before in some other blogs, providing a bit of a walk through the recipe with some photos, and then providing the actual recipe below. Normally I intersperse progress photos with miscellaneous chitchat, but this time I’ll be on topic!
First off, roll out that dough. Very thin I’m afraid, it’s around 1/8″ if I’ve estimated correctly.
There’ll be just enough to line it. Press the pieces together if need be.
Blind bake it. While the tart shell is going, you can start on the cake.
Okay, so here are those eggs I’m so worried about. See, all nice and pale and very fluffy. Wait here at this step until the tart crust is nearly done, refresh the eggs to ensure they’re still voluminous, then start folding in the dry ingredients.
Fold, fold, fold in the dry.
Okay, all done.
Now the milk is folded in too. I think my narration is getting a bit dry.
Into the tart while it’s still somewhat warm.
While this bakes, you can move onto making the syrup.
So. This is what I mean when I say roll the mint between your hands. It gets all a bit mangled but also very aromatic.
While that’s steeping (and while the cake is still in there baking) you may as well start on the yoghurt. There’s not too much to do here, but this is my favourite (very fatty) yoghurt.
Whisk in the sugar and rosewater, and well that was quick.
This is from a little while ago, but a bit on opening up a pomelo.
Let the cake cool before starting. Brush with the syrup.
Then put the yoghurt on top.
Plenty of pomelo. Mounds of mint. A bit of dried rose petals if you like and have them on hand.
pomelo, rose and mint tart
Makes 1 9″ tart.
Adapted from sweet pastry from Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson.
60 g butter
1/8 tsp salt
10 g sugar (~ 1 tbsp)
90 g all purpose
30 g buckwheat flour
25 g beaten egg (1/2 a large egg)
Cream butter with salt and sugar. Add the flours and cream into the butter until everything is crumbly. Add the egg and squish together until evenly mixed and it forms a cohesive dough. Wrap in plastic and chill.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface very thinly (1/8″ thick) and line a 9″ tart pan. It’s a bit delicate so you may have to transfer the dough in pieces and press them together. Line with a piece of parchment paper, fill with a baking weight (I used 1 cup uncooked rice), and blind bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the parchment and baking weight. If the pastry still appears moist, you can bake it for another few minutes.
Adapted from NouraNi’s swiss roll cake.
20 g flour
7 g ground almond
1 large egg (50 g)
24 g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
Begin working on the cake as the pastry bakes.
Whisk together the flour, ground almond, and salt.
Beat the egg until frothy, then add the icing sugar and beat until thick and white. The eggs will have more than doubled in volume. The eggs will not hold any peaks, but when a bit the egg mixture is dripped from a whisk onto the top, it will stay there for a good second or so before melding back into the eggs in the bowl. Sift the flour mixture over top (add in any almonds that do not pass through the sieve) and fold in. Fold in the milk.
Scrape the batter onto the baked tart shell and continue to bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned on top.
Let cool on a wire rack.
mint rose syrup
1/4 c water
1 tbsp sugar (12 g)
2 sprigs mint for
~3/8 tsp rosewater (or to taste, depending on the strength of your rosewater)
Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until boiling. Roll the mint sprigs in your hands until they are well bruised, then add to the water. Cover and remove from the heat and let steep for seven minutes.
Pull out the mint sprig and a bit of rosewater.
180 g thick 10% m.f yoghurt
11 g icing sugar (powdered/confectioner’s sugar)
1/2 tsp rosewater
Whisk the yoghurt with a bit of icing sugar to sweeten (you may want to add more or less to taste) and the rosewater.
a handful of mint sprigs
dried rose petals
Peel the membrane from the pomelo segments and remove the seeds. Break the segments into smaller pieces.
Lightly brush the rose and mint syrup over the cooled sponge–you will only use a bit. Let soak in before spreading the rosewater yoghurt over the sponge.
Arrange the pomelo over the yoghurt, scatter with a generous quantity of mint leaves and a few dried rose petals if desired.