8/13/08

The Topnotch Tomato and Those Loco Spaniards

And to all Spaniard friends out there, please don't post any angry comments. I'll save you the trouble by reiterating that yours truly is (half) Spaniard, as well as irremediably loca en la cabeza. Olé.

You've all heard of La Tomatina, haven't you? The annual tomato fight in Valencia, Spain. Dios mío! What a waste of food that is. Don't get me wrong, I would love to find myself right in the middle of a 'mater melee, except I'd be the one holding up a big-ass catcher's mitt, rescuing every tomato being torpedoed my way. She runs, she catches. Crowd goes wild!

Yes, perhaps I was shaken a lot as a child. But few fruits are as tantalizing to me as freshly picked tomatoes.

And you know what I'd do with my tomato haul, aside from tomato sandwiches and pizza Margherita? Why, a Tomato Tart, of course.



The following has been a long-time favorite, and one which may very well become a favorite of yours.
Btw, I have (successfully) made this using both, a 9-inch round tart pan, as well as in a 14-inch rectangular tart pan.

Tomato Tart

Crust
This makes two 9-inch tart shells.

2½ cups AP flour
3 tablespoons semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons [1½ sticks] cold, unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cold solid shortening
Ice water

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put the flours and salt in food processor. Pulse a couple of times, just enough to integrate the ingredients.
Add the butter and shortening all at once and pulse until the mixture looks like moist crumbs and no chunks of butter or shortening remain.
Sprinkle ice water over the surface of the dough. Repeat with 3 more tablespoonsful. Pulse to just bring the dough together. The dough should be past crumbly, but holding together. Cut the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Press each half to form a disk. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Then roll out one disk to ¼" thick. Fit into your 9-inch tart pan, and chill 30 minutes.
Dock the bottom of the tart. Line it with parchment or foil, and weigh it down with pie weights or dried beans. Place tart shell on center rack in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights from the pan. Return it to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the tart is a light-golden brown. Remove from the oven and set on wire rack to cool.

Filling

12-15 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼"-thick rounds *
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard **
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
2 large eggs
¼ cup light cream
1 teaspoon salt
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Put the tomato slices in a colander and place in the sink. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes to drain off any excess liquid.
Spread the mustard evenly over the tart shell. Sprinkle the cheese over the mustard.
Working from the outside in, lay the drained tomato slices in overlapping, concentric circles, covering the crust completely.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl, whisk in the cream, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Pour this custard evenly over the tomatoes until it comes to about ¼ inch from the top edge of the crust. Bake for 1 hour, to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the custard is set.
Adapted from the book Once Upon a Tart.



* I've found 8 plum tomatoes sufficient enough to fill a 9-inch tomato tart. You may need more or less, depending on the size tomato you use.
** I sometimes spread Pesto instead of Dijon mustard on the bottom of the tart.

29 comments:

  1. Marysol, I admire your dragonfly!! You have always such a great ideas :)

    Have a wonderful day, Margot

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  2. Is that a sage dragonfly? That is the cutest bug ever!! I have never made a tomoto tart...but this looks wonderful

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  3. Hi Marysol,
    this photo actually fit the theme red&white for foodie photo contest.

    Have a look here for more info:
    http://cookingetcetera.com/2008/07/07/red-white-foodie-photo-contest/

    There'r some prizes for the winners. Don't forget, latest submission is by Aug 18.

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  4. I just love the dragonfly - what a creative touch! The tart looks and sounds absolutely delicious. What a great way to use the beautiful summer tomatoes.

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  5. Marysol,
    This tart is beautiful. It makes my mouth water. I love the shape of it, the color, and the cute dragonfly.

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  6. That tart is so beautiful! beautiful dragonfly as well, what a unique design for a sensational looking (and I'm sure tasting as well) tart.

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  7. I have found Love.

    I wonder how this would taste with zuchinni?

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  8. Oh my! That tart looks devine and that dragonfly is adorable!

    You're so talented Sol!

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  9. Thank you, thank you!

    Margot and Leslie, I've always lacked a green thumb, but herbs seem to feel sorry for me, and so most of them thrive.
    And I had to figure out other ways to use these beautiful herbs, besides cooking with them, so a dragonfly it was.
    I used ricotta cheese for the body because it's what I had, but any soft cheese will do, or even whipped heavy cream.
    Chives became the antennae.

    Sadly, I don't think I'll ever outgrow playing with my food [G]

    DHI, thank you. I'll definitely check out your contest.

    Thank you Amy, Alexa and Ashley. I hope you'll try this tart. You could use your favorite pie crust, but this one holds up well, even with all that filling.

    Christine, I hadn't thought of using Zucchini. Well, guess what I'll be trying next. Wish me luck.

    Thanks again everyone!

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  10. That tart is insanely gorgeous! I love the decorative dragonfly. Very beautiful!

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  11. Holy Mother of Pearl... THIS is why I *need* a rectangular tart pan. I simply must make this. M.U.S.T

    Okay so I'll just have to either whisk my butt over to the store today or use my 11" tart pan. Either way, this dish is gettin made in my kitchen... soon!

    Have a delicious day :)

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  12. Hey Kathy, thank you! We must've been typing simultaneously. Between Sam and I the tart is now a thing of the past.

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  13. Thanks Hillary and Em!
    Em, you don't really need a rectangular pan, a 9" tart pan works just fine. But if you need an excuse to go shopping, who the heck am I to stop you? [G]

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  14. yum...this is such a good idea. i'll have to try it some time.

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  15. Anonymous15/8/08

    Aunt Mary:

    I enjoy your blog. Your the best!
    Love, Kathy

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  16. Hi Becky. If you make the tart, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

    Kathy, did you just hear that gasp? I'm so tickled to see you here! Hugs to you sweetie.

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  17. Oh why am I wasting time with Aht when I could be baking such things. i have no balance I fear. With so many good cooks in your state, I may force myself to visit.

    (Peach tree is neighbor's ...now don't you feel better!)

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  18. Glad to see you home 'in top form'! This yummy post looks good enough to eat, including the clever dragonfly! I adore tomatoes, can't get my fill ... your tasty recipe is just what I needed ;)

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  19. Monique18/8/08

    Seeing your dragonfly is like getting a gift:) A gift of inspiration..

    So adorable Soleil!

    It's so much fun to add special touches..

    Thanks..Hope you're having a wonderful summer~

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  20. Hey Calvin!!! Tomato tossing is my specialty so I'll meet you in Valencia! Get your suitcase packed crazy lady because the tossing starts next Wednesday.

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  21. Monique19/8/08

    Just one more thank you..because I made the dragonfly today..

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  22. M, you would never really be off my buddy list. But if the peach tree had been yours, I might've been paying you a surprise visit ... in my truck.


    Hobbes! I don't know what you're talking about, but one thing is for certain, I'm scared.


    Joey, make this one if you have some extra tomatoes, and even if you don't [g]

    Madame M, you do realize I'll have to hop on over to GBs and check out your dragonfly.


    Thanks again foodie friends for being so kind.

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  23. I call this culinary art :D really so gorgeous & delicious looking ;)

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  24. Way cool dragonfly!!!

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  25. Aw, you're all very sweet. And your comments are much appreciated. Thank you NC and SK!

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  26. No need to be scared. But you might want a good tomato proof raincoat just in case one of those tomatoes misses your catcher's mitt. La Tomatina in Valencia happens to be the last Wednesday in August. If we pack our bags now.......

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  27. Beautiful, Marysol!

    I love your blog. :)

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  28. this is so beautiful!! i love it!

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  29. Hobbes, I'm just relieved you weren't planning a sneak attack. Ok, I'm ready to embark on a tomatoey adventure with you!

    Welcome Mari and Dhanggit, and thank you for dropping by!

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