If you are what you love to eat...well... then unfortunately I'd be a wanton woman.
Because I have an obsession with TARTS.
It doesn't matter what kind of tart- I love them all. I've made savory tarts, like my caramelized onion and cauliflower tart. And sweet tarts, like my lemon tart and my plum almond tart (which, BTW, I made again last week using a different recipe. It's a sickness I tell ya, a sickness.)
If I could take a week or two off work and just bake all day to experiment and find the most "perfect" tart crust recipe I would. Because that is how crazy I am for tarts.
So when I saw this tomato and goat cheese tart recipe I jumped at the chance to make it. Especially when I've discovered the most delicious tomatoes on earth: heirloom tomatoes.
FYI: this is a recipe where you're going to want to try to use the best quality ingredients you can. Because the recipe itself is simply tomatoes, goat cheese and herbs in a butter crust. But lest you think that's a bad thing, I assure you it's not. This is one of those times where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
My first question was: which tart pan to use?? The recipe said 9" or 10" pan, but I came prepared with all my tart pans just in case (I told you I have an obsession...)
Step #1: Make the dough. The nice thing about this dough: it came together in a jiffy and required no chilling or pre-baking. Just make it, roll it, and you're ready to assemble the tart.
color has its own distinctive flavor.
Step #2: The olive oil and herb topping. Fresh herbs would be totally preferable, but sadly I had none. So I just mixed my oil with some dried thyme, basil and taragon and gave my tomatoes a flavorful bath.
Step #3: Next up, the cheese. A whole container of goat cheese. mmmmmm.
Step #4: Just pop the tart in the oven and behold the magic of heat...
You should check out the blog post from David Lebovitz (link above). His stories are great, his pictures are gorgeous and he also has some unique ideas for ways to jazz up the tart with honey...
One unbaked tart dough (see recipe, below)
Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
(Note: I used ~ 1 tsp dried thyme, basil and tarragon each and added them to the olive oil)
8 ounces (250 g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Note: I used my 11.5" x 8" rectangular pan. You can use a 9" or 10" pan, but I think the dough would be too thick if you used all of it for that sized pan. So use the leftover dough to make smaller, free formed tarts.
1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
4 1/2 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Prepare tart dough
1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, a pastry blender or a food processor, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of ice water.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides (mine was ~ 1/2" thick), roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. “Dock” the bottom of the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.
If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet (see headnote); no need to make indentations with your fingers.
Assemble the tart
5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). See note.
6. Spread an even layer of dijon mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.
7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
8. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using.
(If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)
9. Cover edges in foil* and bake the tart for 30+ minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.
*With the high temperature of the oven there's a good chance your crust will brown/burn before the dough is cooked. So my advice to you: cover the edges in foil before you put the tart in the oven. Then ~10 minutes before it's done check the edges. If they're not brown enough then remove the foil.