Sweet Potato Sweetheart Tart with Goat Cheese

North Carolina ranks number one (#1!) in sweet potato production in our country. When served in a pie (mmm), casserole (Thanksgiving!), as french fries or baked, the sweet potato proves its versatility, adapting to sweet and savory foods alike. And while the sweet potato scores high on taste, it’s definitely not shabby in nutritional value. The intense orange color is the first indicator of superfood status. The sweet potato is low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, while being a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese.

barrels and barrels or sweet potatoes at n.c. farmer's market

barrels and barrels of sweet potatoes at n.c. farmer's market

I developed this simple Sweet Potato Sweetheart Tart recipe to highlight the goodness of our local agriculture and to show a new, savory spin on an old time favorite. Using top quality, local ingredients means doing less to them to bring out their natural qualities. You can look forward to these flavors:

The sweet potato is infused with herbal and citrus aromatics while simmering in a rich vegetable stock. Granny Smith apples brighten in tartness when cooked with lemon juice. The lemon flavor of the thyme mirrors the acidity of apple, while the tartness of the apple contrasts the now-savory sweet potato. A touch of smooth, creamy goat cheese, and this tart transforms into a complex, dynamic experience for the tastebuds.

the sweet potato sweetheart tart

the sweet potato sweetheart tart

I purchased sweet potatoes, apples and goat cheese at the N.C. Farmer’s Market in Raleigh. The quality is superb and prices cannot be beat.

vendors fill these halls year round

vendors fill these halls year round

just about everything you'll need

just about everything you'll need

What you’ll need:
1 large sweet potato
3 small Granny Smith apples
3 lemons
1 handful of thyme branches
2 T. chopped thyme leaves
1 oz. goat cheese
2 T. olive oil
4 c. vegetable stock
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but kept cool
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
salt & pepper
6 heart-shaped pastry tins (not required, free-form tart variation at end)

This recipe is mostly an assembly line. I recommend preparing it mise en place, that is having all preparation and measuring complete before cooking anything.

What you do…

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Wash, peel and cut potato into thick stalks.

sweet potato slices

they should look about like this

3. Wash, peel and cut apples into about 1/2-inch cubes. Toss with the zest and juice of one lemon. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of fresh-ground pepper. Save the lemon rind.

prepping the apples

prepping the apples

4. Prepare puff pastry. This works best if the dough is still very cold, but pliable. Place tart tin bottom-side-down on top of the dough. Using a paring knife, cut out the shape of the base, then insert it into a non-greased tart tin. Repeat for remaining tins.

cut out the tart bases

arts and crafts time

getting crafty

pretty hearts

5. Cut a piece of the puff pastry sheet into six 1/4-inch strips. Use the strips to form the outer rim of the heart. Press gently into the mold. Form a smooth seam where rim and base meet. Perforate the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles while cooking. Place in the preheated oven. Bake 12 minutes.

step 1

1/4-inch strip around the edge of the tin

step2

press gently into the mold

step3

perforate the hearts

6. Meanwhile in a saucepan, cover sweet potato slices with 4 cups vegetable stock. Add 2 lemons (halved), reserved lemon rind, handful of thyme branches, salt and pepper. Add an extra cup of stock or water to cover if necessary. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender to a knife point. Drain and cut into 1/8-inch slices.

the sweet potatoes are ready

sweet potatoes should cut easily, but not flake, when ready

7. While potatoes are cooking, cook the apple mixture in a separate pan over low-medium heat for about 7 min. Mash the apples into a thick, chunky applesauce. Stir in ground nutmeg

cook the apples

homemade, granny smith applesauce

season with nutmeg

seasoned with nutmeg

8. Build the tart. Smooth 1 tablespoon of apple mixture on the bottom of each tart. Layer sweet potato slices on top. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, goat cheese crumbles. Spoon a drizzle of olive oil over top.

1 layer of applesauce

1 layer of applesauce

the tart assembly line

the tart assembly line

sweet baby goat from 'in the red farm and dairy'

sweet baby goat from 'in the red farm and dairy'

9. Return tarts to oven for a final 12 minutes.

10. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. Use a paring knife to edge between the rim of the pastry and the tart tin. Gently remove from the tart tin, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

finished

sweet potato sweetheart tarts

enjoy!

enjoy!

This tart could stand up alongside a light spring greens salad with citrus vinaigrette (and a scoop of homemade chicken salad), or alongside a chicken roasted with classic rosemary, lemon and garlic.

[Variation: if you don’t have tart tins, not to worry. Use the puff pastry to make a rustic, free-form tart. Simply form the dough into a rectangle and fold over a portion of the edge to create a crust or a rim to hold the tart contents. Perforate and bake 12 minutes. Layer with prepared toppings, then return to oven about 12 more minutes or until golden brown.]


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21 responses to “Sweet Potato Sweetheart Tart with Goat Cheese

  1. That looks amazing!

    Especially with the thyme and goat cheese … wow.

  2. Go, Em! I’m thinking you should drop off your recipe with the goat cheese place at the farmers market…they’d be stoked!

    :)

  3. I had the pleasure of having one of these one-of-a-kind Emily delights, and let me tell you, it was DELISH! Great balance of tart and sweetness, and a very smooth taste. A wonderful side to any meal!

  4. mmm, ebay, this looks DELISH! i want to eat one right now! i’m so impressed with how domestic you are these days ;-D

  5. I want one! Very thorough and original entry. I’ve never heard of sweet potato tarts–how versatile you are in the kitchen Ms. Balog. If I was on the sweet potato council I would hire you as ambassador to the world.

  6. I am currently enjoying this fabulous Sweetheart Tart. I was too excited to even warm it up; It’s even great cold.

  7. YUM! That sounds delicious- very creative. I’m proud of my fellow bloggie!

  8. I know I just commented and all, but I totally want to eat like twelve more. Thanks Emily!

  9. Fantastic recipe, Em! I don’t have any cute lil tart tins…so I might try to make this in a full-size tart dish as soon as I get a chance!

  10. That looks amazing. I would eat one of those on my riding mower.

  11. These sound fantastic. I am super impressed with your recipe-creation ability…very creative! And who doesn’t love goat cheese? I smell a winner!

  12. Sweet potatoes are forbidden in Germany.

  13. Look and sound fabulous! If only I could smell through the pictures – what a WINNER!

  14. what a new and creative way to enjoy sweet potatoes! great twist on a classic!

  15. Let me just say that I tried this last night and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. You should send it to Bill Chilis — I bet he’d put it on the menu in a second.

  16. Looks like a winner to me! Looks delicious and definitely original….I’m thoroughly impressed!!

  17. It looks delicious, forwarding to Oprah. She loves sweet potatoes!

  18. em- i’m very impressed! sounds like a winner for sure.

  19. So are you taking orders?

    They look fabulous! Can’t wait to visit and taste your delicacies!

  20. These look amazing!

  21. finally i get to check out what everyone was raving about! what a creative recipe, em! and you make it look/sound so easy…even us lesser domesticates aren’t scared away

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