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This tart is perfect for August, because it’s served cold, doesn’t require much baking time, and is mighty darned tasty. The cream cheese is a nice touch in the crust; flavorful, easy to handle, and nicely complimented by the dill. Most of the moisture the crust requires comes from the cream cheese, with a little boost from vinegar that makes the crust nice and crisp.

Sold? Let’s make our Smoked salmon and cream cheese tart.

First, all of the crust ingredients except for the vinegar go into the food processor.

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Now, pulse until things look crumby.

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Add the vinegar with the machine running; the dough will come together.
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Press it into a disk and wrap it; give it half an hour in the frige before rolling.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment or wax paper. Now, one of my favorite rolling secrets. I cut a food storage bag up one side and across the bottom, to make one nice big sheet of heavier-duty plastic. This goes on top of the dough, and I roll right over it. Works like a charm.

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To move the dough to the tart pan, peel off the plastic, lay it over the top, then peel back the parchment paper you rolled the dough on.

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After you have the edges trimmed (save the scrap; more on that later) and crimped, dock the dough. You punch lots of holes in it with a fork, to allow steam to escape and keep the dough from puffing up.

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To keep the dough from shrinking when it bakes, there are two things to do. First, chill the dough for half an hour after fitting it into the pan. Second, line the pan with a piece of parchment paper or foil, and fill it with baking weights. These can be dried beans, rice, or steel or ceramic weights. They’ll help the dough hold its shape as you bake it.

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After 12 minutes, remove the paper and the weights, and return the crust to the oven for another 14 minutes, until it’s baked all the way through and golden brown. Take it out of the oven and cool it.

The filling is so simple, I didn’t take its picture. Into the machine, buzz buzz smooth, all done.

To assemble, just spread the filling in the cooled crust.

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Now to put on the “jewelry”. Slice some small cucumbers and about 4 radishes as thin as you can. Alternate them around the outside edge of the tart.

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Boil and peel a hard-boiled egg. Once it’s cool, separate the white from the egg, and put each through a box grater separately.

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Sprinkle the whites in a small circle in the center; then the yolk on top.

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Slice a few radish slices into half-moons, and place them in the center, like a flower. Voila.
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Here’s the bonus bit. I started taking pictures of this dish about halfway through; and realized I needed to make the dough once more to show you. Then I realized that this dough is really perfect for crackers. So I rolled it out, cut it,
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Spritzed it with water

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Sprinkled it with kosher salt,

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And baked it at 400°F for 14 minutes.

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So if you’re in the mood for a nice, crispy dill cracker, just do the same with any scraps you have left, and you’ve got an extra treat.

Susan Reid
The Author

About Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.