Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tomato Tart

Years ago, I had copied a recipe for a tomato tart in Martha Stewart Living, purely because the dish looked simple, yet beautiful: red, yellow and green tomatoes in a huge tart shell. It looked delicious, even though I wasn’t really eating tomatoes yet. Unfortunately, the only recipe I can find on the official website does not quite correspond to the one I have, so I can’t show you the pictures.

My mother-in-law offered us tomatoes from her patio, and I had just bought a tart pan with removable bottom, so it seemed like perfect timing. (I also caved in and bought a set of metal bowls, even though I had said I wouldn’t. I was at Nino on 3667 Saint-Laurent and just couldn’t resist. My inner Peter Walsh is appalled that they still haven’t found a place to live, but I’ll figure it out – after all, I did find a place for the ice-cream maker.) So, the red tomatoes on the picture are hers, and the little yellow ones were from the market.

I also decided to *gasp* tweak Martha Stewart’s pâte brisée recipe, because I recently heard that a bit of vinegar helps make a flakier dough. So I added 1 Tbsp of vinegar along with the water. I ended up having a lot of trouble rolling the dough out into a circle – it seemed to want to make an hourglass shape, for some reason. But I’m not convinced that had anything to do with the vinegar (maybe I chilled the dough too much?). The dough was quite flaky, though. I’ll give you the dough ingredients as they were printed.

I’m using the lactose-free tag here because fontina is a low-lactose cheese, but you can always replace it with lactose-free cheese.

Pâte brisée
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or other herbs)
½ cup ice water

1 garlic bulb
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup) – though I would use more
3 lbs firm, ripe tomatoes (about 6 medium), cut into ¼-inch thick slices
fresh basil leaves, for garnish

For the pâte brisée
Pulse flour, salt and thyme in a food processor until just combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds.

Add 1/3 cup ice water and process just until dough comes together, no more than 30 seconds (dough should not be sticky). Add a little more water if necessary.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap; flatten into a disc. Wrap in the plastic and refrigerate 30 min.

For the tart
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Put garlic on a piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Fold foil over to seal. Bake until garlic is very soft and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Squeeze cloves from skins into a small plate and discard skin. (You wouldn’t believe how good it smelled at this point!) Mash garlic with a fork and set aside.

Raise oven temperature to 450 °F. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 16-inch circle, 1/8-inch thick. Fold dough in half and lift it over a 14-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (mine is a bit smaller). Unfold dough over pan, pressing it into corners. Trim edges of dough and place pan on a baking sheet.

Spread roasted garlic evenly over crust.

Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese. Arrange tomatoes on top of the cheese in a circular pattern, overlapping them slightly. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp oil.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Reduce temperature to 425 °F. Bake until crust turns golden and tomatoes soften, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack about 20 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

1 comment:

The Engineer said...

This was really delicious... I came at it as a skeptic because I was thinking "oh, it's just tomatoes on a pie crust" but the garlic and everything works to create much more flavour than I expected!