I love tomatoes, all colors, shapes sizes, sweet, acidic,... I love them all. I wait all year until I have my own tomatoes from my modest garden. Last year around this time I panicked, every gardening source published horrid stories of various tomato plant diseases that struck Northeast.
Combined with a rainy, cold summer, there were no tomatoes to be had. Price of tomatoes went up in all the farm stands, some did not have tomatoes at all! Unheard of for New Jersey in August.
Amid all this, mine flourished. I had so many that I ended up pickling some of them.
This summer, which has been declared one of the perfect “Tomatoes summers” ever, farm stands are full of variety of delicious New Jersey tomatoes, yet mine are sick. By the sorry looks of the vines and the fruit, they will not recover. I am not even sure where I went wrong, although I did not pay as much time to my veggies this year. My son would water them every day and I would glance once in a while, but I didn’t pay as much attention as I did in the past. I feel guilty now, I killed my tomatoes…
Oh, well, I got over it real quick when I saw beautiful cherry tomatoes in three colors at the farm stand. Time for one of my favorites… Savory Tomato Tart.
It is one of the easiest things to make and is hit every single time. The pastry is flaky, tomatoes are sweet and acidic at the same time, and depending on your choice of secondary toping ( feta, goat cheese, basil, coarse flaky salt, etc…) a little different every time.
Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
1 ½ all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
8 tbs ( 1 stick) of very cold unsalted butter
¼ cup of cold heavy cream or half-n-half
¼ cup of ice water
2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes ( different colors make a prettier tart)
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9” tart or pie form.
In the food processor combine flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold butter in small cubes. Pulse again until the dough looks like course corn meal. Add the heavy cream and water while the food processor is on. You may not need all of the liquids. Stop as soon as the dough comes together in one clump.
Turn out the dough on the floured surface and roll out a circle at least 12” in diameter. Place inside the tart pan and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.( see note***). When ready to bake, place all of your tomatoes inside the tart pan. Don’t worry if they look crowded, they will shrink a bit when baked. Pepper the tomatoes. Don’t put salt or olive oil. The tomatoes will give off too much liquid while cooking and the tart will be soggy.
Bake for 1 ½ hrs or until the dough is golden and flaky and the tomatoes just start to break apart.
Salt the tart immediately when it comes out of the oven and cool on the cooling rack. You can top it with a little bit of feta cheese, goat cheese, drizzle of good olive oil, more pepper or basil or any combination of the above.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note*** I sometimes stick the dough in the freezer for 20 min if I am short on time. The dough can be pre-made a day or two in advance, just make sure to wrap it tightly before putting it in the fridge. Because the dough is made is butter, it starts to pick up all kinds of funky odors.