Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A bumper crop,a flaky recipe and yet another tomato tart


Summer cherry tomato 3 cheese basil tart

How annoying is it when you find a recipe on line with an irresistible photo that entices you to make it, and then you read the ingredients listing and just one ingredient can turn you off as fast as the picture that had turned you on.I was trolling the internet trying to find an unusual recipe using cherry tomatoes for my fourth tomato tart ( we have such a glut this year my salad box just cant cope).Foodista´s August newsletter "Five ways to enjoy a tomato" was flashing up a recipe for a flaky fresh tomato tart. Flaky indeed it was, the instructions had not been subbed and there was no mention of at what point to introduce the 6 tablespoons of butter.Readers comments were quick to address this too, and ohhh the frustration of that reader who has not had a pertinent question responded to by  Foodista 5 days later.
I soon abandoned the idea when I found mayonnaise in the ingredients listing. "Cooked and mayonnaise,you dirty tart". However I am always game for trying out a new pastry and the use of corn starch in the dough of this recipe fascinated me.
Well my task had suffered a setback but my focus was still to use up my excess cherry tomatoes.I put my tarts hat on and here we go.First I made the pastry, lined the tart pan and put it in the fridge to chill.Everything fine - the dough performed exactly as the recipe promised.Now to rewrite the recipe without the mayonnaise.I opted for a more soft textured,souffléesque egg and cream based tart.Elizabeth David´s cheese pudding came to mind, hence my decision to use breadcrumbs.For me successful tomato recipes are those where the distinctive taste of the fruit surmounts the other flavours.I think I succeeded, see what you think. That´s if the picture has enticed you.


Summer cherry tomato 3 cheese basil tart
Serves 6-8  
1 x 25cm (10") deep tart pan or pie dish

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, diced
1 egg
2 pints ( this does not mean canned) fresh cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves, divided into two
2 red onions,finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
55g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
115g(4oz) Queijo São Jorge, grated (or mature cheddar)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup (125ml) double cream whipped to a mayonnaise type dropping texture
85g (3oz) chevre crumbled into small pieces
Flor de sal and generous freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch,butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse the mixture until it is in very tiny bits.
Add one egg and pulse until a dough forms. This dough is rather tough but, it does come together nicely.
Gather the dough into a ball. Then press the dough in to the tart pan, covering every bit. (You could, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle, if you want.) Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Gently heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and sweat the onions covered for 10 -15 minutes,or until just soft, stirring occasionally.
Roughly chop 1/4 cup of the basil leaves and add them with the breadcrumbs to the onions.Stir to mix and turn off the heat.In a mixing bowl beat the cream to the desired consistency then beat in the eggs,cheddar,parmesan, salt and pepper.Spread the onion basil and breadcrumb mix over the bottom of the tart shell.Pour over the cream/egg mixture and then press the crumbled chevre into the cream.Cover the top with the cherry tomatoes and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown in patches and the cheese is bubbling up.
Cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the other 1/4 cup basil stacked rolled up and sliced into ribbons.Cool for a further 35 minutes to allow the tart filling to firm up.It will keep warm in the tart pan for an hour.Serve as a main course with courgettes or runner beans and some small minted new potatoes with their skins on or as a starter with a rocket salad.It is equally delicious served cold.
This is what the Foodista tart looked like but what did it taste like?
I think they cheated for the picture the pastry looks uncooked and there does not appear to be five and a half cups of melting cheese?
 

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