" Presidio, The" I Left My Tart in San Francisco

Turn off your sweet tooth, these tarts aren?t the sugary kind. Instead, they are packed with crabmeat, asparagus, and just enough jalapeno to get your streetcar running. These pint-sized pastries are so delectable, they?ll make you want to jump (off the Golden Gate Bridge) for joy.

You will need:

For the tart shell:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 stick chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon grass
  • 1-2 jalape?o chiles, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 pound asparagus, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat
  • 1 Tony Bennett box set


1. Preheat the oven to 425?F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Pulse 4 or 5 times to roughly combine the ingredients.

2. Add the shortening and pulse the machine another 3 or 4 more times until the dough resembles small peas. Scrape dough onto a clean work surface, sprinkle with the ice water and knead a few times by hand. Shape into a 5-6" disc, cover, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough into a circle approximately 12" in diameter. It should be about 1/8" thick. Carefully fold the dough into quarters and place the point in the center of a tart pan. Unfold the dough and gently tuck the edges around the outsides of the pan. Trim off excess by running a rolling pin across the top edges of the pan.

4. Prick the bottom of the shell with the tines of a fork, cover with a piece of buttered foil and pour 1 cup of dried, uncooked beans over the foil to keep the bottom crust flat. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375?F.

5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, sesame oil, cilantro, and salt; set aside.

6. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger, lemon grass, jalape?os, asparagus and curry powder; saute 1-minute. Add the green onions and crabmeat and cook another minute.

7. Place the crab and asparagus mixture evenly over the tart shell; pour the egg mixture over the top and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the mixture is set. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

8. Take one look at the pile of dishes in the sink and go home to your city by the bay.

Makes one 11-inch tart

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