Heirloom cherry tomato tart
Summer in the Okanagan is in full swing and of course tomatoes are part of it. Little heirloom cherry tomatoes are available at the local organic vegetable stands and make their way to my kitchen and the various dishes I cook. Pasta with cherry tomatoes, tomato salads, pizza and many more dishes have been fun to make and serve in the past few weeks.
Today I had a small basket of green, black, red, orange and yellow baby tomatoes and thought that a tart would go nicely with the rest of the foods I was making for a patio dinner: corn on the cob with a couple of compound butters, my mother’s potato salad, sweet and tangy slaw with green cabbage and carrots and a crunchy baguette would be fun to share along with this tart as an easy and informal summer dinner.
Tart dough is simple to make and if you have a recipe that works for you you can use it here. I often make the dough and freeze it well wrapped in parchment in a freezer plastic bag and pull it out when I need it.
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, very cold (or use vegetables shortening)
4 tablespoons ice water (about)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated gruyer
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved of left whole.
A bunch of basil leaves, more than one variety if you have them
Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Add cold butter and mix with a few pulses until butter is coated with the flour and the mixture is crumbly. Do not over mix.
Add the water, a tablespoon at a time and run the processor until mixture begins to clump together but does not form a ball quite yet.
Cut a piece of parchment to cover the work surface and sprinkle with flour (less cleanup this way).
Empty the dough onto the parchment paper and bring it together with your hands. Work fairly quickly because you do not want your warm hands to melt the butter in the pastry. As soon as you have a ball of pastry flatten it to a disk and then wrap in wax paper or plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes or overnight. You can prepare this a few days in advance and keep refrigerated or frozen until needed.
When you are ready to proceed remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up on the counter for a short while, only until it is pliable enough to roll. You will be working with a cold dough so don’t bring it to room temperature. I usually beat the ball of dough a few times with the roller to soften the butter and warm it up.
Roll the dough into a circle about 1/6 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.
When you have rolled it into the proper size roll the dough circle over the rolling pin, lift it over the tart pan and unroll it loosely into place.
Gently press the dough into the tart shell and then roll the rolling pin over the edges. This will cut any extra dough hanging over the edge.
You can prepare this a couple of days in advance and keep it wrapped in the fridge.
Heat the butter in a skillet, add the chopped onion and cook until golden and translucent, being careful not to burn. Remove and let cool.
Combine egg and cream and whisk together.
Remove tart shell from the fridge and place on a baking sheet.
Spread the cooled onion mixture on the bottom of the tart shell, top with the grated cheese and then pour the cream over.
Scatter the cherry tomatoes halves over.
Place in a preheated 400F oven and bake until tarts are puffed and begin to turn golden on top, about 30-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool a little. Scatter basil leaves over and serve warm or at room temperature.