Mattentaart

Origin: Mattentaart is a round “curdcake” made inside a puff pastry. The pastry is light, tender, and crunchy. The curd cake part of it is made from egg, either ground almond or almond extract, and milk and buttermilk that have been allowed to form curds. The buttermilk gives it a tang. It is made in Flanders (Belgium) and its name comes from the words “matten” meaning coagulated or curdled milk.Mattentaarten

Ingredients:

1 l Milk
250 ml Buttermilk
100 gr Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon almond extract
2 Sheets ready-made puff pastry

Recipe: In a saucepan, bring the milk to boil, then add the buttermilk and stir well. The mixture will curdle. Line something that you can prop over a bowl or pot with a double layer of cheesecloth, and pour the curds and whey through that. Let stand for at least 12 hours in a cool spot. After that time, continue with the recipe. Begin heating oven to 200 C and butter a round cake pan, bottom and sides. Line just the bottom of it with a sheet of puff pastry, cutting off loose edges. Set in fridge.

Then separate the eggs. Beat whites to stiff peak; set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the curd, egg yolk, almond extract, and sugar until smooth. Fold a small amount into the egg white, then fold all the egg white into the egg yolk and curd mixture until thoroughly but gently blended. Take lined cake pan out of fridge. Pour the mixture into it. Top with remaining sheet of puff pastry, cutting off loose edges. Make a few slits in the top crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 175 C (350 F) and bake for another 15 minutes, then finally raise heat back up to 200 C (400 F) for 5 minutes. Then remove from oven, and let cool. Slice to serve.

Dedicated to: Mr MilkCurd, very handsome Flemish guy who was not “old” like rotten milk… he was just a bit late compared to his Flemish peers.

In Belgium we say that Flemish people are born with a brick in the stomach, this means that they absolutely want to build their own house with their own hands. This is their objective since childhood… So while I was 8 and I was playing with Barbie, Mr MilkCurd was 8 and was already thinking about how to shape his dream house. We met when we were already both adult and he had just finished his 200-square-meter dwelling. But, heigh-ho, all the young ladies from his little town were already married by that time. He was super late!!

No worries, he was sure that he could find the right princess for his castle. He came to mine for dinner and he proposed me like this:

You know, I have just turned 30 and you too. My house is ready, I would like to get married and you look like the ideal candidate. You are Italian – I heard that the Italian and Flemish cultures can match well – then you are smart and cute, you can definitely cook and I hope you are also good under the sheets. So what do you think?

What do I think?? What do you want me to think?? Without an engagement ring worthing 2 months of your salary and without an ounce of romanticism… I say bitterness please go awaaaaaaaaaaaay! This is all I can say ) – :

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