Heirloom Tomato Tartlet

Years ago a delightful and genuinely French “patisserie” opened up near our home in the UK. They made these wonderfully simple yet delicious tarts bursting with flavor! Ripe tomatoes with a hint of thyme and Dijon mustard … they were simply sublime. Having moved to Florida with no such patisserie in sight, I decided to recreate this simple French summer recipe. I added parmesan cheese to the crust to give it that extra depth of flavor. If you make double the pastry, like I do, you can keep the extra in the fridge ready for the next day. Quick and simple to make! Don’t be put off by having to make shortcrust pastry from scratch. It’s quicker and easier than you think! You can make individual tarts like I have, or one large one. This recipe works for either. Of course, you can use store bought pastry and I know many recipes call for puff pastry instead of shortcrust but I think it results in a tart that’s too oily and detracts from the flavors of the other ingredients.

HEIRLOOM TOMATO TARTLET

Ingredients:
This recipe will make two individual tarts or one larger one

Pastry
8 oz of plain flour
4 oz of butter, chilled and diced
3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water
pinch of salt (omit if using parmesan cheese)
2 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese

Filling
4 Heirloom tomatoes (or any variety you choose)
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons of finely grated Emmental cheese
6 tablespoons of finely grated Gruyère cheese
Fresh or dried thyme (use sparingly)
Olive oil for brushing the tart dish and the tart itself before it goes into the oven
Sprig of basil (optional)

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F

Pastry
Sift the flour into a large bowl (add a pinch of salt if you’re not using parmesan cheese)
Once sifted, place it into a food processor with the sharp blade attachment
Add the butter and pulse gently
If you are doing this by hand, rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Add the parmesan cheese
Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and mix well in between
You don’t want the dough to be too wet – Add just enough to blend the ingredients together
When enough water has been added, the pastry should leave the sides of the bowl fairly clean
Place the dough onto a floured or non-stick surface like a Silpat mat and knead gently just enough to shape the dough into two disks
Wrap it with plastic cling wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling

Filling
Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick
Place the slices in a single layer on doubled-up kitchen paper
Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt to extract the excess water
After about 5 minutes dab the excess moisture of the tomatoes with more kitchen paper
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll into 1/4 inch thick disk
Place over your two individual pie dishes or one larger 9″ pie dish
Trim edges and prick the base of the pastry several times with a fork
Using a pastry brush generously coat the bottom with Dijon mustard
Sprinkle half your cheese onto the pastries (you will need the other half for sprinkling on top of the tomatoes)
Layer the tomato slices on top, sharing evenly between the two tarts
Top with the remaining cheese
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs like thyme
Brush the tarts slightly with some olive oil
Place in the oven for 20 to 40 minutes
Serve warm with a sprig of basil on top

Notes:

Want more or less? These are the proportions for the pastry: half fat to flour
Don’t add too much water or the pastry will end up too hard once baked
Make sure the butter is chilled before you use it

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and CarolinesFamilyKitchen.com

 

You can also pin this ↓ image to Pinterest or share the recipe to other social media.

Tomato Tart

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