After the success of Allie Brooker's delicious strawberry buttermilk cake a few years back, we asked her to come up with a savory tart that would celebrate the bounty of tomato season. Once again, she has come up with an outstanding recipe that works as well to take to a friend or bake for yourself. We recommend making one for each of you.
Adapted from NY Times Cooking Servings: 8
- Short-crust pastry tart, par-baked (instructions below)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes (about 4 medium or 2 baskets baby heirloom or mix it up)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, marjoram, basil or a combination, or 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh thyme or chopped rosemary, divided.
- 3 ounces shredded cheese of choice, divided (Jarlsberg, Mozzarella or other favorite)
- 2 eggs
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice tomatoes and place in a colander to drain. Salt liberally.
3. Prepare the filling: Use a hand mixer to blend eggs, goat cheese and mascarpone. Add salt, pepper and half the herbs to taste.
4. Brush the mustard over the bottom of the par-baked crust. Sprinkle half the shredded cheese over the mustard.
5. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in concentric circles, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of the remaining herbs. Sprinkle again with shredded cheese. Add another layer of tomatoes.
6. Pour filling over the tomatoes. Top with a last layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and remaining herbs. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
7. Place in the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned, turning halfway through. Check tart after 30 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, the custard in a quiche is done between 165°F and 185°F.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
BASIC SHORT-CRUST PASTRY (Adapted from NY Times Cooking)
Yield: One 9 and 1/2-inch tart crust, Working time/dough: 15 mins
- 145 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter (1/4 pound), cut in 1/8 " pieces
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
1. Combine ice water, vinegar and sugar in a jar. Shake until sugar is dissolved.
2. Put flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Add ice water mixture and mix briefly, about 30 seconds, to form a soft dough. Remove dough, shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before rolling (5 mins).
1. To roll out the crust, lightly flour the counter or a silicon mat and rolling pin. Roll out gradually, periodically letting dough rest for a moment before continuing. This makes rolling easier and will keep dough from shrinking back during baking.
2. Roll dough to a thin round (1/8”) approximately 14 inches in diameter.
3. Lay the dough loosely into a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, letting it relax a bit. Don’t stretch the dough! Fold overlap back inside to make a double thickness, then press firmly against the pan so the finished edge is slightly higher than the pan. Refrigerate or freeze for an hour before par-baking.
PAR–BAKING SHORT-CRUST TART SHELL
Working Time: 45 – 60 minutes (not counting chilling time)
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place a baking tray in the oven.
2. Remove the short-crust pastry shell from the refrigerator
3. Spray the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil with Pam (or use parchment) large enough to cover the tart.
4. Dock the tart shell with the tines of a fork
5. Line the pastry with the foil shiny side up (or parchment if using) and fill with uncooked rice or beans.
6. Place the tin on the preheated baking tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden, turning the tray after 15 minutes.
7. Carefully remove the foil and rice.
8. Egg wash (lightly beaten egg) the tart crust and put it back in the oven until it turns golden brown. Remove and allow to cool as directed by the recipe, if needed.
Allie X Brooker is a self-taught home baker and web designer based in Los Angeles. After constant encouragement from friends, she has begun to tiptoe into the actual business of baking. Allie has won three ribbons at the KCRW Good Food Pie Contest over the years, including Best in Show at the 6th Annual Pie Contest. www.alliebakes.com