I have seen on PBS more than 4 times the episode of Baking With Julia with chef Michel Richard making Tourte Milanese. The recipe is in the companion cookbook with the same title which I regularly borrow from the library. *I should probably get my own copy already but my cookbook cupboard cannot take anymore cookbooks*
I made the puff pastry from scratch but to cut the preparation time, store-bought puff pastry is perfectly fine. I don't think it will make any difference in flavor because the pie filling alone is super delicious. The tourte is good warm or at room temperature. I won't mind making this superb pie again and again.
adapted from the cookbook Baking With Julia
1 pound puff pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound fresh spinach (blanched, chopped, and drained very well)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 large roasted red bell peppers
4 extra large eggs (or 6 large)
2 teaspoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
½ pound thinly sliced ham
soft butter to grease pan
1 beaten egg for egg wash
- Grease an 8-inch spring form pan with soft butter. Roll out ¾ of the puff pastry ¼ inch thick and line bottom and sides of pan leaving a 1-inch overhang. Roll out the remaining pastry into ¼ inch thick and cut out 8-inch circle. Transfer into a plate. Keep both pastries refrigerated while preparing the filling.
- Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add spinach and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, set aside
- Prepare omelets: lightly beat 2 eggs, add half of the herbs and salt to taste. In an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and coat bottom of skillet evenly. Pour the egg mixture and stir briefly. As eggs start to set, lift edges so liquid can run under. When eggs are completely set but still moist, transfer omelet onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs and herbs.
- Remove the lined pan from the refrigerator.
- Layer ingredients in following order: 1 omelet, half of the spinach, half of cheese, half of ham, all of the red bell peppers. Repeat layering in reverse order using the remaining ingredients.
- Remove the 8-inch pastry from refrigerator and place over omelet. Seal well to pastry lining by pinching together with fingers. With tip of knife, draw desired number of slices directly on the pastry. Make a small hole in the center of the pastry. Brush all over with beaten egg. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Position rack in lower third of oven, preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Brush pastry one more time with beaten egg. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 1 ½ hours. Cool for 30 minutes, release from pan. Slice and serve warm.
Watch the PBS episode of the chef making the puff pastry and Tourte Milanese here.