Having just read The Colour of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe, as part of my “cook the book club” selection for April & May … I’ve decided to make a Tomato Tart!
Thankfully there is the internet for research! So I started my search for the perfect Tomato Tart recipe, til I narrowed it down just one or two. Reading the recipes, I realized there were many things I didn’t know – what they were, or how to do them … so back to the internet for more research ….
~what am I really making … a pie or a tart ? … apparently they are really cousins, the galette is included in this family as well. tart will have a bottom and straight sides, whereas pie will have sloped sides and can have a top or no top to it … also there is a small difference in the ingredients that go into making the dough.
~what the heck are baking beans? no, not the same as baked beans. you can really use dry beans (like red kidney beans) they help to distributes the heat more evenly so the pastry doesn’t puffing up so much … and you need to do this to “blind bake pastry”
~what is blind baking? that’s when you pre-bake the pastry so it get it’s shape and golden brown
With everything I learned, I found a Tomato Tart recipe I just might be able to handle, courtesy of The Botanical Baker …hailing from the UK (with a great deal more baking experience than me!). Here’s a link to her original recipe: http://thebotanicalbaker.wordpress.com/recipes/fruit/tomato/roasted-tomato-red-pepper-and-pesto-tart/
When I mentioned to my husband that I’ll be making a tomato tart for dinner later this week … he said “where’s the meat in that?” So needed to update my shopping list, added some Prosciutto … then went out looking for the ripest vine tomatoes I could find (Mom’s are not in season yet) … they smelled heavenly with that sharp sweet smell that only tomatoes have. Leaving them on the counter to ripe just a couple of days more, I picked the night, straight home from work and my tart-making-baking adventure began…
I’m pleased to announce it was a successful baking adventure, (my husband took a 2nd helping and asked to take leftovers for lunch – he never does leftovers! ) Here’s a picture of the final result;
This is what I used:
- A pack of all butter puff pastry
- 150g jar of pesto
- 500g (approx. 6-7) medium on the vine ripe tomatoes (or any other tomatoes)
- 200g (about half) zucchini
- 6 slices of Prosciutto, or other dry cured ham
- 125g of bocconcini
- Salt and black pepper to your preference
TO MAKE IT :
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with greaseproof/parchment paper
- Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle-ish shape about 5mm thick.
- Prick the base lightly, with a fork and then fold in each edge over itself so you have a little, thick border … keeping sides are straight as possible.
- Cover over with some parchement paper and add baking beans and then pop this into the oven for about 15 minutes.
- Take it out of the oven, take the baking beans off and then pop it back in the oven til it’s golden brown. Leave it to cool.
- Meantime, slice the tomatoes (here I borrowed a trick from Jamie Oliver, put the slice tomatoes in a colander and give them a little salt as you go, this will help remove some of the excess juices).
- Chop the zucchini however you like, I quartered and then chopped.
- Put all the sliced tomatoes and zucchini in a large enough roasting pan/tin and drizzle over with some olive oil. Add some fresh ground black pepper (or perhaps some herbs like thyme or basil). Make sure everything is coated a little with the olive oil and then pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes til they are soft.
- Your pastry should be cool by this point so spread the pesto over the base and then add your slices for Prosciutto (I ripped them into smaller pieces, which also removed some of the fatty bits)
- If veggies are still roasting you can start cutting up the bocconcini, small to begin with, I still cut into quarters, so I could get more cheese everywhere.
- When the tomatoes and zucchini are done, using a slotted spoon, start placing them over the pesto and Prosciutto, they are nice and soft now, so you can kind of squish them to cover the whole area.
- Then scatter the boccocini all around, and put in under the broiler for about 5 mins, til the cheese is nicely melted
- And finally enjoy! Tasted great the next day as well, warmed up for 5 mins in the oven.