To achieve a frosted look, garnish the tart with fresh fruit and place it in freezer for 5 minutes. Once removed and exposed to room temperature, the fruit will achieve a delectable frosty look.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Make the crust: In small bowl, soak dates in warm water for 10 minutes to soften. Drain well and place in food processor with remaining crust ingredients. Pulse until blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
Place crust mixture in tart pan and evenly press in bottom and up sides. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust is firm to the touch. Remove and cool. Refrigerate until completely firm.
Make the filling: Chop chocolate and place in heatproof bowl. In small saucepan, heat coconut milk just until it begins to bubble around the edges. Pour over chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in syrup and vanilla.
Assemble the tart: Sprinkle finely diced ginger evenly over chilled crust. Gently pour chocolate ganache over crust and slightly stir to smooth out. Refrigerate tart for a minimum of 3 hours, and preferably overnight, until firm.
To serve, arrange fresh fruit on top, if desired. Scatter extra candied ginger over top if you wish. Sprinkle with some flaked salt, and then cut into wedges and serve. Refrigerate leftovers, should there be any!
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.