Tomato Tart

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I’m really digging this savory tart thing. I think because I was baking before I started cooking, and dealing with crust and ovens feels very familiar to me; but then you get to add juicy tomatoes and eat it for dinner instead of dessert.

I may have found my new favorite cheese and I used it in this recipe. Unfortunately it is not a local cheese, although I did buy it at a local store: it’s a Dutch double cream gouda from Cheeseland. Very smooth and melts like a dream.

For the tart itself, I was looking at a couple different options—originally I was thinking something with a custard base, but a lot of the tomato tart recipes online have just tomatoes and cheese. This is essentially taken from David Lebovitz, but I’m writing it here anyway.

Tart dough
1 1/2 cups flour
1 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Tomato Tart
Mustard
2-3 large tomatoes
Melting cheese (like double cream gouda)
Fresh goat cheese (or a combination of cheeses you love)
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

For the crust: Cut up the butter and freeze it for a while (or just make sure it is cold if you don’t have time). Mix egg and water together and put in the fridge (or the freezer, but don’t forget about it!) while you measure out the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour—I like to cut it very small before freezing it, and then I can kind of smoosh it into the flour with my fingers without it warming up too much. Mix in the egg/water mixture until combined, but don’t knead it too much or it’ll get tough. You can wrap and refrigerate it at this point, or just roll it out (usually determined by timing). If you don’t have a rolling pin, use an empty (washed) wine bottle.

Sprinkle a clean surface with flour and roll to fit whatever pan you have (I don’t have a tart pan and wasn’t feeling a pie pan because I didn’t want sloping sides with all the juice in the tomatoes, so I made it in an 8×8 glass pan, and then made an additional galette with the rest of the dough, which worked spectacularly). Either fold in quarters or roll gently onto the rolling pin to transfer it to the pan. Gently press in and arrange the sides as you wish. For a galette, just place a circle of dough on a baking sheet. Put in the freezer while you prep the other ingredients.

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Thickly slice tomatoes (1/3-1/2 inch). Cut up the cheese into small slices or very small chunks. Strip the thyme from stems.

Remove dough from the freezer and spread with mustard. Arrange the tomato slices on top and nestle in the chunks of cheese and gobs of fresh cheese. Top with thyme, salt, and pepper, and slide into the oven. With the galette, fold over the sides (they are hopefully un-frozen enough to do this at this point) and press them together.

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Bake for 30 or so minutes, until golden. Juices may get a little bubbly, just watch it to make sure they don’t spill in your oven. I also broiled mine right at the end to make the cheese on top nice and crispy.

Serve warm or at least room temperature. This reheats excellently in a toaster oven, or the oven (the galette was my office lunch one day this week, topped with arugula with some zucchini on the side).

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