Saturday, September 19, 2009

Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan Crust

Heirloom tomatoes from my garden
101 Cookbooks

  • 6 perfect, colorful, medium-sized heirloom tomatoes - washed and sliced 1/6-inch thick

  • 1 t. fine-grain sea salt

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, well chilled + cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 4-ounce chunk of good fresh Parmesan, microplane-grated (you should end up with about 2 cups loosely packed grated cheese. Save any leftover grated cheese for sprinkling on the crusts when they come out of the oven.)

  • 2 T. ice cold water

  • 2T. best quality extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup slivered basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

  2. Prep the tomatoes:
    To avoid a soggy crust later on, you need to rid the tomatoes of some of their liquid. Clear a space on your counter and put down a double layer of absorbent paper towels. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the paper towels and sprinkle them with about 1 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt. Top the tomatoes with another layer of paper towels and press gently. Let the tomatoes sit here until you are ready to use them.

  3. Make the tart crust(s):
    Place both flours, butter, and Parmesan in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, punctuated with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2T of ice water. The dough should stick together when your pinch it between two fingers. Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working towards the sides and up to form a rim. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.

  4. Bake the tart crust:
    Pull the tarts out of the refrigerator and poke each a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with a square of aluminum foil and fill generously with pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and slide the tart onto the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, pull the shell out of the oven and very gently peel back and remove the tinfoil containing the pie weights. Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, or until it is a deep golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan (this will act as another barrier to the tomato liquid). Let cool to room temperature before filling.

  5. Assembling the tart: Just before serving, arrange tomato slices in a concentric pattern inside the tart shell. Drizzle with your best quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with the slivered basil. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes:
This recipe will make one 9 or 10-inch tart OR five 4 1/2-inch tarts.

My Notes:
WOW! This was fantastic. The tart shell tastes so good-- like a nuttier Parmesan. Make this now, while heirlooms are still in season! It will not be close to as good with pale winter tomatoes.
I used Hungarian Heart and Yellow Pear tomatoes from my garden.
This is perfect for a light lunch. Serve with salad tossed with vinaigrette.

Liz's Rating: 10/10


HaveShoesWillTravel said...

This looks wonderful. My mouth is watering over the parmesan crust.

Joelen said...

Beautiful photo of vibrant colors and even better is how delicious this recipe is! Great way to use those gorgeous tomatoes!

Lisa said...

This looks so good!

Kelly said...

I must make this!

Erin said...

Wow, this sounds amazing! I love city living but still long for a garden to grow stuff like this. I wonder if it would be good with other veggies on top of the tart crust?

Liz said...

Erin, I live in a city too. Do you have any Community Gardens near your home? I share garden duties with one of my friends; we "rent" a plot for $25/year and garden alongside other people in our community. It's fun!

I think other veggies could work, although I don't know what other veggies would be good at room temperature raw. Perhaps lightly sauteed spinach? Maybe grilled eggplant? Otherwise just find the best looking tomatoes at your market and go for it. :)