Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fresh Tomato Tart

This tart makes people swoon, really. Of course my son pulls the fresh tomatoes out-go figure, what is it about kids who love spaghetti sauce but won't go near a fresh tomato? I got the original recipe from the lady who trims my hair, Deb is a real treat.
I started with a cream cheese pastry crust that was so tender I am imagining all kinds of different fillings for next time. Add to that thick slices of fresh tomatoes, cheesy goodness and crumbled, smokey turkey bacon. If you want a vegetarian option just omit the bacon and add 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, either way it's just plain  good.
Cream Cheese Pastry
4 oz. cream cheese, chilled
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (white spelt flour works well too)
2 large, meaty tomaotes
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 tablespoons mayo (to bind the cheeses together)
1/2 pound turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled and/or 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Start the pastry a few hours or the day before your meal so it will be well chilled before rolling out.
Put into the bowl of a food processor the flour, sugar and salt.
Pulse this a few times to mix. Then add the butter and cream cheese, pulse just until it forms a ball, no longer or it will be a tough crust.
Form into a thick disc and wrap in plastic, refrigerate at least an hour to chill well.
About an hour before serving, remove disc from refrigerator, sprinkle rolling surface with bench flour (a fancy term for the flour you sprinkle on the rolling surface),
and roll the dough about 3 inches larger than the tart pan (or pie plate). Be sure to use enough flour that the dough will not stick to surface when lifting.
Gently fold dough in half,
then in half again and place point in the center of tart pan.
Unfold and work the dough down into the edges of the pan being careful not to stretch it but keeping it loose so it doesn't shrink when baked.
Fold the excess over on the inside, it won't show once the filling is in.
With a fork, prick tiny holes on the bottom of the dough, this will allow steam to be released and keep it from bubbling up.
We are going to "blind bake" this dough which simply means to bake the dough empty, this way the juicy tomatoes won't make it soggy.
Put a piece of foil on top of the dough, fill it with a cup or so of dry beans or pie weights.
Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden, remove foil, if bottom is not cooked return to oven for another 5 minutes (without the foil or beans).
While the crust bakes,slice the tomatoes thickly,
and place on an old towel. This is what I keep that ratty old dish towel for that my daughter tries to throw away.
Now sprinkle with good salt, I like Celtic Sea salt or Real salt because it has lots of trace minerals instead of a blast of sodium. The salt will pull some of the liquid from the tomatoes so it won't soak the crust. Just give each side a nice sprinkle, perhaps a pinch on each side.
Cover and refrigerate until crust is done.
 Mix the cheeses, onion and mayo in a medium bowl and set aside.
When the crust is done, uncover the tomatoes, they should look considerably drier.
Layer 1/2 the cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust,
Place the tomatoes on top of the cheese so the spaces are all filled.
Top with the remaining cheese. And last, the bacon.
Bake 350F. for 10-15 minutes until melted through and bubbly.
Allow to cool for 8 or 10 minutes to set. Remove from tart ring and cut into wedges or cut in pan if not a 2 piece pan.
Serve with salad or fruit.
No, I did not take a bite, the crust was so tender the tip broke off, nothing went to waste, mmmmm!

1 comment:

  1. Love the pie, thinking of all the ways I could add different ingredients.