One of the wonderful fruits (or vegetables, depending on which camp you’re in) of the summer season happens to be tomatoes, in my opinion. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like them.
Whether they’re puréed into a pizza sauce or sliced and layered to form a tomato tart like this one, there’s bound to be some tasty way to use them.
Personally, I love tomatoes and can eat them with little done to them. In the case of cherry tomatoes, I’ll happily just pop them into my mouth straight from the basket. But even if you’re not that kind of tomato fan, you’ll love them in this tomato tart.
This tomato tart is pretty much a French twist on pizza margherita.
It’s a bit simpler to make because there’s no need for tomato sauce or the yeast dough for the pizza crust. Even with the homemade ricotta and homemade pie crust, this tomato tart is incredibly easy to make.
And if you decide to go store-bought, then just know that you can make this tomato tart in your sleep!
I don’t feel like I need to tell you how gratifying a flaky, golden pie crust can be, so instead, I’ll share with you how delicious the cheese filling for this tart is.
It’s a simple combination of ricotta and parmesan cheese, but it’s absolutely heavenly. The ricotta provides that creamy texture, while the grated parmesan gives lots of great flavor.
The tomato slices are placed on top of the cheese filling and baked until they’re tender. A quick grind of sea salt and some fresh basil leaves are all this tart needs to make it absolutely mouthwatering!
A Provencal version of pizza margherita made with golden pastry and fresh ricotta.
for the pie crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup) plus more for greasing, cold and cubed
- ice cold water
for the filling
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- pinch of sea salt and pepper
- 1 large tomato sliced 1/4" thick
- leaves basil to garnish
To create the pie crust, mix the all-purpose flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor. Add the cubed butter, and mix until pea-size clumps form. Stream in cold water, one teaspoon at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and comes together. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and mold it into a disc shape. Wrap the dough completely and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface. Roll the dough into a large circular shape, 1/8" thick. Grease a 6 or 8 inch cake pan with some softened butter. Gently lift the pie crust dough and center it into the pan. Mold the dough so that it sits into all the edges of the pan, rising up the sides of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut off the excess dough that hangs over and outside the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Once the pie dough has chilled again, place a sheet of parchment paper on the inside of the pan. Fill the sheet with beans or pie weights, and blind-bake the pie dough for 11 minutes. Then, remove the sheet with the beans, and let the pie dough bake for another 10 minutes, until it begins to set and golden along the edges.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper together until combined well. Pour enough of the cheese batter into the pie shell to reach halfway up the sides of the pie shell. Place the tomato slices onto the cheese filling, add a small pinch of sea salt to the tomatoes, then bake the tart for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese has set and the tomatoes are tender.
Let the tart cool in the pan for 20 minutes before tipping the cake pan on its side and gently nudging the tart out. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.
You will end up with leftover cheese filling if you use a 6-inch pan.