Breakfast Egg, Ham & Havarti Cheese Tart

If there is one meal that I adore more than any other, it is brunch.  I look forward to it every week and weekend.  It is my favorite time to host family and friends, as it is casual and fun.  We sit around the table drinking mimosas, eating various delicious dishes, and chatting for hours with music playing in the background.  When you’re with good company, it is very nice to have good food and drink to keep the festivities going.  Eggs, ham, and cheese are somewhat of a classic breakfast and brunch combination.  Making an egg tart with some olive oil and herb roasted potatoes* and a simple arugula salad* on the side make for a very delicious brunch.  Oh, and don’t forget the mimosas.

*Both the Olive Oil and Herb Roasted Potatoes and the simple Arugula Salad will be featured in later posts.

BREAKFAST EGG, HAM, AND HAVARTI CHEESE TART

Serves 4

1 sheet Puff Pastry
4 organic Eggs
4 oz Goat Cheese – room temperature
4 oz creamy Havarti Cheese
4 oz Ham – preferably nitrate and nitrite free
4 sprigs fresh Oregano
Salt
Pepper – freshly ground

EGG WASH
1 organic Egg
1 tablespoon Water

Begin by taking out the frozen puff pastry and leaving it at room temperature for about 40 minutes, or leaving it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.  Once you are able to easily unfold the pastry, lightly flour your board and place the pastry on it to roll it out a little bit more.  The pastry must still be very cold, as the cold butter will make it flakey.  

Cut the pastry sheet into quarters.  You may want to dot the pastry with a fork.  Spread the goat cheese evenly on each quarter, then lightly salt and pepper them.  Place a 1 oz slice of Havarti cheese on each tart, followed by one slice of ham.  In this case, I often buy already sliced Havarti cheese; each slice is 1 oz.  The slices are easy to use and melt evenly.  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fold all four edges of each tart to form a high enough border to hold an egg in the center.  Now crack an egg in a small bowl, then very gently place it in the middle of the tart.  Salt and pepper the egg.  With a spatula, VERY GENTLY move each individual tart, and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet.  This is not an easy task, as the eggs have a tendency to want to wander around the tarts and the baking sheet.  Please make your border high enough.  However, you may want to avoid dealing with the transport of the egg filled tarts altogether by placing the eggless tarts on the greased baking sheet first, then placing the egg very gently on each tart.

In a very small bowl, crack an egg and add the water to it to make the egg wash.  Whisk it.  With a pastry brush, apply the egg wash to the exposed borders of the tart.  Place in the oven and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, depending on your oven and how you like your eggs to be cooked.  If you like your yolk runny, then bake the tarts for less time (10 – 12 mins); if you like your yolk hard, then bake the tarts longer (13 – 15 mins).  If an egg or more become(s) loose during the baking process, don’t worry.  When the tarts are done baking, gently remove the cooked runaway eggs from the baking sheet and place them on each tart.  

Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes.  With a spatula, remove the tarts from the baking sheet and plate.  Roughly chop the fresh oregano and sprinkle over the tarts as a very tasty garnish.  The butteriness of the crust, the tanginess of the goat cheese, the creaminess of the Havarti cheese, the saltiness of the ham, and the fresh herbaceous flavor of the oregano go very well with these delicious eggs.  Enjoy!


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