Whole Wheat Crust Tart from COOK'S
You should have smelled this tart baking! Honestly, I was skeptical about the crust right up to about 10 minutes before I inhaled it. But once I started smelling the amazingly buttery crust baking in the oven, I knew that Will was right to try this whole wheat crust recipe.
Let me start by saying that I have perhaps an even higher level of skepticism towards Cook's Illustrated magazine than I do towards anything Thomas Keller (click here for my reason). At least I believe that Keller is a genius--if ever one could finish his 38 steps for how to bake sugar cookies or something!--but I've stood by enough times while Will looked befuddled and frustrated over a Cook's Illustrated recipe gone disastrously wrong. (And, really, Will is a pretty good and faithful follower of recipes, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't his fault.)
Too often, their philosophy about the "science" of cooking falls flat on its face. Will's last attempt to try their recipe was an epic failure--an apple cake recipe which was extremely oily and wet--that I forbid him to try another. But then Will mastered French baguette using their tips (another post on that soon!), and he decided that he would start using the magazine again. (Drats!) Meanwhile, I scoffed at their "helpful" hints about how to be a savvy cook by suggesting that I could rinse out a can of diced tomatoes destined for a soup with a little bit of water or chicken broth to get the last bits of flavor out of the can. Really?! Were they seriously thinking that this was something that a twelve year-old couldn't figure out by herself?
Anyway, back to the tart. Well, the "shaggy dough" was quite "shaggy" and made me doubtful about the whole venture. And even Will--who masochistically likes difficult recipes--thought the crust was too annoying and difficult to prepare. And who buys 1.25 lbs of shitake mushrooms for a pizza pie? (Actually, I refused to do that. I insisted on 1/3 shitake and 2/3 crimini.) Between that, the leeks, Gorgonzola, and the whole wheat crust, we are talking about a very expensive and labor intensive tart. (See all those elements in the picture above.)
But, as I conceded right from the beginning of this post, the crust was indeed heavenly. The filling was tasty as well, but it was the crust that we will go back for. Flaky layers, buttery taste, crumbly texture reminiscent of croissants!