I love the combination of tomato and basil and in an attempt to be non-traditional, I decided to add basil to the crust of the tart instead of just on top. It gave the already earthy, cheesy crust an elevated flavor. The crust is a good base to play around with too. You can try any hard cheese instead of the parmesan and can add other herbs to the crust as well for some new, unexpected flavors. I found from reading many tomato tart/pie recipes and trying out quite a few over the years this trick of letting the tomatoes "drain" on paper towels before assembling the tart. It really does help prevent the crust from becoming too soggy. I kept the tomatoes raw for this particular recipe because they are amazing this time of year but this tart is just as good if you arrange the tomatoes on the tart shell and roast it in the oven. —Plum Pie
stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 in. dice
whole wheat flour
freshly grated parmesan cheese plus 2 T.
chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish
heirloom tomatoes (choose a variety of types and colors)
Lay out a double layer of paper towels on 2 large baking sheets (plates, countertop space work well too). Slice the heirloom tomatoes and place on top of paper towels. Sprinkle light with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. Place another layer of paper towels lightly on top of tomatoes.
In a food processor, combine all purpose and whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and parmesan cheese. Add basil and pulse once. Add butter (I freeze mine after I have diced it so that is very cold). Pulse mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of ice water to mixture and pulse. Keep adding ice water until mixture starts to come together and when you pinch it between your fingers it holds together (this varies every time I make a tart crust or pie crust. The key is to slowly add the water by the tablespoon, pulsing between each addition, until it starts to come together).
If you like to roll out your tart dough, form a ball with the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour to chill. If you don't like to roll your dough, quickly press the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with your fingers. Place in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
Remove tart pan or dough out of refrigerator. If rolling out the dough, flour a cold surface and roll out your dough to fit the 9-inch tart pan. Press into the pan. Using a fork, press into the dough a few times.
Cover the dough with foil and fill with baking weights or beans. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. gently remove beans and foil and cook, uncovered, until a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.
Sprinkle tart shell with about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. You could also use a goat cheese mixture (4 oz. cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons milk) depending on your tastes or mood. Let shell with cheese layer cool.
When tart is room temperature, arrange tomato slices on tart shell. Drizzle with your good quality olive oil and garnish with chopped basil. Enjoy!