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Can't-Be-Beet Tart with Goat Cheese

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active time 1 hr, 33 mins
Total time 14 hrs, 3 mins

Serves 16 (serving size: 1 pie slice and about 2 tsp. cream)

This is a stunner of a pie—gorgeous ruby-jewel color, sophisticated flavor, and a surprising main ingredient. This is the dessert you make when you want to make a grand impression on your guests, who are guaranteed to rave. Everything about it—from the ginger kick in the crust to the sweet earthiness of the beets in the filling to the rich goat cheese in the whipped cream topping—comes together in beautiful harmony. You can make the tart and the cream up to a day ahead; re-whisk the cream again before serving if it needs a little fluffing. Be sure to use an 11-inch tart pan to accommodate the filling; the filling won’t fit in a smaller pan. In a pinch, you can use a 10-inch pie plate. To boost nutrition, look for whole-wheat ginger cookies.



  • 8 1/2 ounces gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 1 1/2 cups or 30 cookies)
  • 1 1/4 ounces buttermilk powder (about 1/4 cup; such as Saco or Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup tawny port
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 10 ounce red beets, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 9 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 ounce goat cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 245
  • fat 13.4 g
  • satfat 5.5 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 3.2 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 27 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 79 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 272 mg
  • calcium 65 mg
  • sugars 17 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 14 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F.

  2. Prepare the crust: Whisk together cookie crumbs, buttermilk powder, walnuts, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ginger, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and 2 tablespoons melted butter; stir to combine. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake at 275°F until slightly browned and toasty, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating pan halfway (on same rack) after 9 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  3. Prepare the filling: Combine 3 tablespoons warm water and gelatin in a small bowl; let stand until ready to use. In a medium saucepan, bring port to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in half-and-half and beets. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender when tested with a fork, about 25 minutes. (Mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out when blended.) Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin melts and mixture is completely combined.

  4. Transfer beet mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids.

  5. Whisk together buttermilk, yolks, 9 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until mixture begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Add beet mixture to pan; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and vanilla to pan, and whisk until butter melts. Transfer filling to cooled crust, smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Cover and chill 12 hours. Remove sides of pan; cut into 16 slices.

  6. Prepare the topping: Beat cream, powdered sugar, honey, orange zest, and goat cheese with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attach­ment at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Serve with pie.