Four years ago when we first bought our property here in Umbria, my husband planted grapes all along the back fence that runs from one end of our property to the other. These are grapes grown for eating, not the variety used to make wine, and his intention was to share the grapes with our farmhouse guests as they ripen. Well, after four years of growth, these vines are producing a lot of grapes, and unfortunately they all seem to ripen within a two week period. The real problem with this quick ripening window is that if we don’t pick them immediately, the birds will devour them. The last couple of years during our short grape harvest, I’ve made grape jam, grape chutney, and lots of different grape based desserts, but this year I decided to try a few different ideas, including this sweet and savory grape tart. Both my husband and I really enjoyed the flavor of this tart and it would be a wonderful option for lunch with a mixed green salad, or even cut into squares for a brunch buffet. I used a combination of white and purple grapes, but you could use any full flavored seedless grapes you prefer.
I am not someone who likes to fiddle around with pastry unless I am in the mood and have extra time on my hands. Luckily you can find some really good quality puff pastry in specialty stores these days, so feel free to buy your pastry already made if you are running short on time, although my Rough Puff Pastry also works well in a rustic tart such as this one. You can make either one large tart, or two smaller ones, though I made two tarts when I made mine and then cut them into squares to serve. I used a goat cheese Robiola cheese, but any creamy goat cheese will work just fine. If you cannot find pancetta, chopped bacon will work well in its place.
Deborah Mele 2012
2 Tablespoons Olive OIl 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped 1/2 Cup Chopped Pancetta 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced 1 Cup Purple Seedless Grapes, Halved 1 Cup White Seedless Grapes, Halved 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme 6 Fresh Sage Leaves, Sliced Thin 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour 3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese 1 (4 Ounce) Log Goat Cheese Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry - Either Homemade or Store Bought Eggwash: 1 Large Egg 1 Tablespoon Water
- 2 Tablespoons Olive OIl
- 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pancetta
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
- 1 Cup Purple Seedless Grapes, Halved
- 1 Cup White Seedless Grapes, Halved
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
- 6 Fresh Sage Leaves, Sliced Thin
- 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1 (4 Ounce) Log Goat Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- Puff Pastry - Either Homemade or Store Bought
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil and cook the onions until translucent.
- Add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the chopped thyme and sage and set aside to cool.
- Roll out the puff pastry to form a 15 X 20 inch rectangle (or two smaller rectangles) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Add the grapes and flour to the onion mixture and mix well.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and goat cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Use a spoon to spread the goat cheese mixture evenly over the pastry shell, leaving a 1 inch border all around.
- Spoon the grape mixture evenly over the ricotta and carefully fold the 1 inch border over towards the filling.
- In a cup, beat together the egg and water and then brush the border edges.
- Bake until puffy and golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Let tart cool to room temperature and then cut into slices or squares.