The taste of a ripe tomato is a wonderful thing. I’m lucky enough to have a greenhouse and have grown 5 different varieties this year and each tastes so different.
But really good tasting tomatoes are not too difficult to find – particularly the cherry type. Check out your local supermarket or you might find a wider range if you visit a farmers market. Over Farm at Stroud Farmers’ Market usually have a good choice.
Apparently, we are not treating our tomatoes well. Until recently I kept tomatoes in the fridge, but no more. Astonishingly, researchers found that tomatoes change their flavour profile forever if kept in the fridge as they are sensitive to low temperatures. Leaving them at room temperature, they will continue to ripen and their flavour will develop.
Whilst tomatoes are fabulous raw, when cooked the flavour really explodes and also increases the absorption of lycopene (which has health giving properties).
I wanted to make the most of my tomatoes to showcase their flavour, so I came up with my Easy Tomato Tart. The buttery crisp pastry is a perfect foil for the meltingly soft tomatoes and cheese. Yes, there is a bit of pre-preparation needed, but a bit of planning will five you a really tasty dish.
How to make my easy Tomato Tart
- Purchase some flavoursome tomatoes.
- Buy some cheese the softer brie or camembert style goats cheese work well. There are plenty of English cheeses that will work really well.
- Find a pastry ring (approx 20 cm) or a loose bottomed tart tin. After much experimentation, I have found that a ring works so much better. If you don’t have one, use your loose bottomed tart tin without the base.
- I’ve tried this tart with conventional wheat flour and Novofarina gluten free pea flour. Both work well
- Make and bake a pastry case with shortcrust pastry. This can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days or can be placed in the freezer. You’ll need some baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
- Bake your tomatoes until just falling apart and drain well. These too can be baked in advance.
My Tasty Tomato Tart Recipe
This recipe makes two generous portions. Depending on the size of your tart tin, you will have some pastry left over.
- 160 gr plain wheat flour or pea flour
- 90 gr butter
- 1 egg approx 50 gr
- Pinch of salt
- 500 gr tomatoes
- 125 gr of cheese brie, camembert, goats or similar cut into 1 cm cubes
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to Gas4/180°C/450ºF
- Either rub the butter into the flour and salt by hand then add the egg to mix or place all the ingredients in a food processor or stand mixer and mix until a ball forms. You shouldn't need any further liquid if using wheat flour. If using pea flour, add a little more water to make a soft dough
- Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge
- Butter a pastry ring or a tart case (remove the bottom). Place the ring or tin on a baking tray. Roll out the pastry thinly and place in the pastry ring or tart case.
- Trim and return to the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the fridge and place baking parchment in the case.
- Add baking beans and bake for 10 minutes or so until firm. Remove the beans and cook a further 5 minutes until lightly brown. Remove from oven.
- Optional: when cooled, store in fridge or freezer.
- Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and bake with a a pinch of salt covered in the oven until softened. This will take 10-15 minutes depending on ripeness of tomatoes.
- If you are using larger tomatoes, remove the skin which should come away easily. Drain the tomatoes. Keep the liquid to serve separately.
- Ten minutes before you want to eat if you have left the pastry case to cool, reheat for 5 to 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the cubed cheese on the pastry base. Add the tomatoes.
- Place in the oven until warmed through and cheese melted (about 10 minutes). Do not be tempted to leave this any longer, you do not want a soggy bottom!
- Serve with fresh beans. Enjoy