Herby Tomato Tart

By • July 1, 2013 • 6 Comments

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Author Notes: As summer hits its stride, and gloriously fresh produce becomes a luxurious stalwart of everyday noshing, I eat as many tomatoes as I possibly can. A daily caprese? Sure! Plain, like an apple, juices running down my chin? Happily! White bread, mayo, tom slices and salt? You bet. And the list goes on and on and on.
But sometimes, it's fun to diversify as well as let tomatoes play a supporting role rather than star. A good tart always makes me smile, in part because making one is an excuse to construct and delight in Molly Wizenberg's perfect crust. Have fun with the filling, but don't mess with the shell!
Summer tarts need to be light though; today in DC for example, it is hot, gray, intermittently rainy and muggy to the max. The last thing I need is an overwrought fiesta that would leave me feeling even swampier.
This tart seems to defy gravity and is wonderful warm, at room temp, and, I suspect, cold. It's the best sort of simple- to make and in flavor- and takes full advantage of and highlights what's in season now!
This recipe requires advance work so start early. If you have it, 9" tart pan with a removable bottom is optimal, but a pie plate would also work.
em-i-lis

Makes 1 9" tart

For the crust and slow-roasted tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons ice water (you might need up to 2 additional teaspoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled but not frozen, cut into chunks
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • salt
  • olive oil
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the 4 tablespoons ice water and the vinegar, and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour and 3/4 teaspoons of sea salt. Add the butter and pulse until well-incorporated. With the motor running, pour in the water-vinegar mixture and let the dough come together. If it seems dry, add a teaspoon of additional ice water at a time (I usually add 1-2 teaspoons). Turn the dough into a bowl and shape into a ball. Place the ball on a sheet of plastic wrap, press gently into a disk, cover tightly with the wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. (You can prepare to this point up to three days ahead).
  2. While the crust dough is chilling, prepare the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 250° F and line a cookie pan with a sheet of foil. Drizzle the foil lightly with olive oil, and place the tomato rounds in a single layer on top. Sprinkle generously with salt. When the oven is at temp, slide in the pan of tomatoes, and cook for 55-60 minutes. When they're done, remove and reserve.

To finish the tart and the tart filling

  • 1/3 cup snipped chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup chiffonade, or chopped, basil (I used purple but green is great too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup farmers cheese, crumbled (you could also use young chevre, well-drained ricotta, or even feta though the latter will change the taste of this slightly to a tangier one)
  • pecorino for grating over the top, at least 2 tablespoons, more is good
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F, and on a lightly floured surface, roll out your crust dough to a roughly 1/4" thick circle. Invert it over your tart pan, folding in the overhang but leaving at least 1/4" sticking up over the sides. It will shrink as it cooks, and you want it to still be high enough to accommodate all the filling.
  2. Line the inside with foil and place pie weights or dried beans on top. Be sure to dock the sides as best you can so as to avoid collapse of the walls/sides. Bake the crust for 25 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Leaving your oven on, remove the tart shell from the oven, place it on a large baking sheet and let cool slightly while you prepare the filling. In a small bowl, toss together the chives, parsley and basil until well-combined. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, whipping cream, milk and salt, and set aside.
  4. Line the bottom of your tart shell with the roasted tomato rounds (do this gently because they are fragile). Atop those, add the farmers cheese and herb mixture, trying to make the distribution across the tomatoes as uniform as possible. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top of the tomatoes, herbs and cheese. Grate pecorino generously over the top, and then sprinkle with a bit more salt and some freshly ground pepper.
  5. Slide the pan with the tart on it into the oven and bake 25-27 minutes, or until the top is golden and set. When done, carefully remove the tart pan from the baking sheet and slide onto a wire rack. Cool ten minutes and then carefully remove the tart pan ring from the base and tart. Cut into wedges and serve, cool to room temp and serve, or cool completely and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
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over 1 year ago krusher

Another great recipe from your powerhouse kitchen. I have a secret love of very, very good quiches. This looks perfect for me. Today will be a slow Saturday. The weather is cold where I live. I have time to cook this gorgeous meal.

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, krusher. We devoured this in about 36 hours! I hope you enjoy it, and slow-roasting the tomatoes is a great way to use ones that aren't grown in the midst of summer as they tend to lack flavor; roasting concentrates all they do have!

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over 1 year ago MallorySD

I love this recipe idea. I may make this too for my Holiday meal on Thursday. I'm not doing a traditional BBQ! This will certainly make my non-meat eaters happy!

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, MallorySD! It is really lovely, light and fresh. I think it'd be great for the 4th! You can go ahead and make the crust dough today if you'd like...will save time later! I hope you enjoy.

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over 1 year ago lapadia

Extremely beautiful and delicious!

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

thank you so much!