It may be fall but there are still plenty of beautiful summer tomatoes hanging about. The pastry for this tart is scented with thyme leaves which works so well with the tomatoes and cheese. This is wonderful served with a dollop of crème fraîche that is flavoured with a teaspoon or two of salsa verde. —[email protected]
4 to 6
all purpose flour
finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
thyme leaves, chopped plus some additional sprigs for garnish
Good pinch of fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons
ripe tomatoes, a mix of tomatoes is nice here
To prepare the crust: Place the flour, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the thyme leaves and the salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of water and pulse until moist clumps form. If the mixture still seems too dry add the remaining tablespoon of water. Transfer to a work surface and gently pull the dough together, kneading ever so slightly until the dough comes together into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for a least an hour and up to 1 day ahead.
To prepare the tomatoes: While your dough is chilling slice your tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Layer into a colander and sprinkle some coarse salt in between the layers. Allow to drain for at least 45 minutes and up to an hour. Every so often tilt the colander to allow the juices trapped between the layers to drain freely.
To assemble and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 450º F. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a baking sheet and dust lightly with flour. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to warm up slightly about 5 minutes. Working directly on the parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12-inch round that is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Transfer the parchment and dough to a baking sheet and return to the fridge for 15 minutes or so.
Remove the tomatoes from the colander and drain them further by laying the tomatoes on several layers of paper towel. Well drained tomatoes make for a crisp tart.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Scatter the remaining 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese over the base of the tart, leaving a 2 inch wide border. Arrange the drained tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, pleating as you go.
Season with a few grinds of black pepper and a drizzle of the olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven until the tart is golden about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. A light sprinkling of coarse salt over the top just before serving works well.