So this week I got to choose what our Sunday Slow Bakers made. I wanted something slightly challenging, different, and with produce I knew I could easily find this time of year. I would have chosen the zucchini cake but I was hoping to do it this summer (with the glut of zucchini I get from the farm - though now I think it's what we're making next week, but I need to check). Gelato was another definite possibility, but we're supposed to be baking, so I ignored those too. There was also an apple tart - but again, to me, a fall dish, which is how I ended up with grapes (nine weeks out of ten I can find decent grapes at the market).
First off, I got these big, sweet black grapes from Whole Foods, so that part was easy. I had some left over hazelnuts from when I made the chocolate hazelnut cookies, no grappa (for soaking the grapes), so I substituted some Frangelico and the rest of the ingredients were pretty straightforward (e.g., butter, flour, cream, eggs, sugar).
I had already made two tarts using the Sweet Pastry Crust, a Fresh Fig Tart and the cover recipe, Pine Nut Tart, so I didn't have any nerves about assembling it this third time. I still love this crust recipe. It comes together easily, isn't delicate, so if it breaks while I'm rolling, or moving to the tart shell, it's easily repairable, and this time, if someone doesn't forget to close the freezer drawer and defrost my freezer, I should hopefully have some crust left for another tart real soon.
Likewise, the filling was pretty easy too - though it did require three different bowls, one on the food processor for chopping the nuts, one for the egg yolks and one for the egg whites. The recipe suggests using the same bowl for the yolks and whites, and just cleaning between, but since I needed a bowl to mix the hazelnuts and egg yolks together in, I didn't do that. I just used my hand mixer for the egg yolks, added the hazelnuts, and my stand mixer to beat the egg whites.
Leave plenty of time for this recipe though, both active and inactive. Inactive because the tart dough requires an hour or two of chilling before rolling, and then another hour once it's rolled out and in the shell. Active because slicing and then placing those grapes could be a bit time consuming.
It baked up fine in the specified time and looked pretty puffy when it first came out of the oven but then settled nicely. The grapes did spread some, so don't be afraid to place them close together.