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Tourte de Blette Recipe

Provencal French cuisine

Tourto de bledo or Tourta dé bléa.

This is a pastry (tourte) filled with sugared vegetables, although there are also "salty" versions. "Blette" is a white beet, and this tourte is a variant of the ancient "tourte d'herbes", which was made with just about any plant with edible leaves, such as blettes, choux, épinards and poireaux (white beets, cabbage, spinach and leeks). The blette is popular because it grows year-round and keeps well.

The history of this goes back to the Middle Ages. A tourte made with "blettes" and spinach was described in "Le Menagier de Paris", written in 1393. Soak the raisins in rhum a few hours before starting the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

The Dough Ingredients:

500 g flour [farine]
200 g butter
150 g sugar

2 eggs

The Filling Ingredients:

1 bunch blette leaves
6 apples or pears [poires]
50 g Corinthe raisins
50 g Malaga raisins
2 eggs
150 g brown or brown-cane sugar

150 g brown or brown-cane sugar
100 g pignons
50 g grated parmesan
50 ml eau-de-vie or eau-de-fleur-d'oranger
1 teasp olive oil [huile d'olive]

Prepare the Dough

1. Pour the flour onto the work surface in a pile with a hollowed center.

2. Beat the eggs well, and soften the butter.

3. Pour the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the center of the flour. Mix together thoroughly with your hands, folding inwards until you have a smooth dough (but don't over-mix). Add a few drops of water if necessary.

4. Let the dough mixture sit at least an hour while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the Filling

1. Prepare the "blette" leaves:

  • Trim and wash the "blette" leaves.
  • Roll the leaves into a cylinder a few cm thick, and cut into very thin slices.
  • Wash the leaves thoroughly several times, until the water runs clear, thus removing any bitter taste, then drain and dry with dish towels.

2. Beat the eggs well.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, shreded parmesan, pignons, rhum-soaked-raisins, eau-de-vie, olive oil, and then the beaten eggs.

4. Stir the chopped "blette" into the well-mixed ingredients.

5. Wash and core the apples or pears and cut them into narrow wedges. Put them aside.

Put it Together

1. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and roll each into a thin, even layer.

2. Press on half of the rolled dough into the bottom and sides of a 40-cm pie tin (tourtière).

3. Put the filling into the dough-lined tin and spread out evenly. It should be about 2-3 cm thick. Don't forget to include the juice from the bowl.

4. Cover the surface of the filling mixture with the thin slices of apple or pear.

5. Lay the second half of the rolled dough on top of the mixture, pinching down around the edges. Poke a set of fork holes across the surface of the top.

6. Bake in a hot oven until the crust starts to brown. Remove the tourte, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and let cool.

7. When the upper crust has browned, lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C)

8. When the inside is done, (testing in the classic way with a knife blade for sticking dough), switch off and open the oven, leaving it to cool slowly. The tourte can be saved for several days, and re-heated in the oven for serving.

Conversions 30 g = 1 oz = 2 Tbs   180 g = 6 oz = 3/4 cup  
1 kg = 2.2 lbs 1 lt = 1.06 qt  60 g = 2 oz = 1/4 cup 225 g = 8 oz = 1 cup
0.45 kg = 1 lb   0.95 lt = 1 qt 115 g = 4 oz = 1/2 cup   450 g = 16 oz = 1 pint

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