Tourte aux blettes – sweet green chard and apple tart

This unusual dessert can be found in pastry shops in the city of  Nice and throughout the Cote d’Azur.  Although the idea of green chard in a dessert may seem strange, its pairing with raisins and pine nuts is typical Nicoise cooking.

About 8 portions




  • 2 1/3 cups white flour (unbleached)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (cold)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs (large)


  • 1 1/2lb green chard leaves (about 2 pounds whole chard before removing stems)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts (toasted)
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1oz parmesan (grated)
  • 1 baking apple


1. Make the pastry: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Cut the cold butter into dice and work into the flour with your hands until it has the consistency of sand. Add the olive oil and lightly beaten eggs. Mix until it just forms a smooth dough.
2. Divide into two pieces, one being just a bit larger than the other. Form into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
3. Make the filling: Wash the chard well and remove the stems (save for another use). Blanch the green leaves in a lot of salted boiling water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, shock in ice water, then wring very well and chop.
4. Put the raisins and rum into a small pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let sit until the raisins have absorbed all the rum.
5. Combine the chard, lemon zest, raisins and any remaining rum, pine nuts, cinnamon, sugar and grated parmesan. Stir well. Lightly beat the eggs then add to the chard mixture.
6. Peel and core the apple, then cut in half. Slice the apple thinly in half-moons.
7. Lightly butter a 9” false bottom tart pan. Roll out the larger of the two pieces of dough until it is about 1.5” larger than the tart pan. Line the tart pan, pushing the dough into all the corners and leaving about ½” at the top.
8. Fill the shell with the chard mix. Cover the chard with a layer of the apple slices, Sprinkle the apples with a couple teaspoons of sugar. Roll out the smaller piece of dough till just slightly larger than that tart. Cover the filling and crimp the edges to join the bottom and top crusts. Cut 3-4 vent holes in the top crust.
9. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden on the top about 30-40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
10. Just before serving, just the top of the tart with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla or rum crème anglaise.
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