A fresh summer tart with ripe tomatoes to be enjoyed warm or cold: it’s a quick-to-prepare delicious element for any brunch or happy hour!
Maybe it’s a little misleading to emphasize “summer” in connection with a savory tart, but the best tomatoes are available during summer, especially late summer. Of course, tarts similar to today’s representative are year-round favourites.
It isn’t finger food although it’s perfect for nibbling. It may pass for a complete meal although merely a simple one. A tart is ready to be eaten straight from the oven, after having cooled off a little (or a little more) or next day after having stayed overnight in the fridge.
So let’s now investigate how to prepare such an all-rounder!
Question #1: What do we need?
There aren’t so many ingredients:
- a flour mix for a basic quiche/tart crust
- crème fraîche
- grated Gruyère cheese
- tomato pesto
- fresh tomatoes.
Question #2: How to proceed?
We start w/ an empty tart pan slightly greased. I used a store-bought flour mix for the crust (which is also fine for any quiche!). You’ll only need to mix the flour mix (it’s flour mainly upgraded with dry yeast & baking powder (& a pinch of salt & sugar…)) with warm water, knead it & roll it into a flat circle which should cover the tart pan – I know it’ll be somewhat uneven.
Fit it into the tart pan & remove all overhanging dough.
For the record:
Feel free to create tart pastry from the scratch if you’ve got enough time…
Mix eggs & crème fraîche w/ an egg whip. Add salt & pepper. Finally add the grated Gruyere cheese – I always buy a piece of Gruyere cheese & grate it by myself. It’s a quick job – rather big shavings are fine because it’ll easily melt away.
If you like you may add chopped chives or chopped basil to the egg mix – or any fresh Mediterranean herbs hanging out on your window sill.
I bought small colored tomatoes & cut them into rather thin slices. The endpieces remain for future use beyond this recipe.
Now we are talking about the tomato pesto. I bought a jar of tomato pesto in my trusted food store. The pesto is basically a mix of crushed tomatoes, dried tomatoes, oil, garlic, onions, Mediterranean herbs & Parmigiano Reggiano.
Another day when preparing such a tomato tart I sautéed spring onions & tomatoes in olive oil with garlic & Mediterranean herbs until rather soft, added 2 tablespoons of the tomato pesto & finished w/ some finely grated Pecorino cheese.
…and some other time I started w/ my homemade tomato sauce which I thickened by Parmigiana Reggiano.
For the record:
Feel free to create your own tomato pesto if you’ve got enough time…
The main point is to combine ripe tomatoes & lots of Mediterranean herbs & lots of garlic… until a rather thick mess comes out. Always add some Italian (or French) cheese.
Just distribute the tomato pesto over the tart crust.
Then spoon carefully the egg-crème fraîche-Gruyère mix over the pesto. The mix is “very” fluid!
(The red pesto oil forces its way to the surface – just ignore it!)
Finally cover the surface carefully with the tomato slices. Carefully: the slices shall stay visibly on top!
Then put it in the preheated oven for about 45 min.
…and here’s the tomato tart!
Isn’t it delicious?
I like to summarize:
- Tomato tart is simple & easy to prepare.
- There isn’t a laid down recipe – you may add whatever may fit into the Mediterranean flavour & goes along w/ tomato pesto.
- The 1st layer (tomato pesto) consists mainly of crushed, baked, fried tomatoes with (spring) onions, garlic, Mediterranean herbs & cheese.
- The 2nd layer is a classic quiche mix (eggs, crème fraîche, Gruyere cheese).
- The 3rd layer is for good looks & appetizing.
Here comes another example (I had some of my homemade tomato sauce for the pesto layer & added chives to the quiche mix):
…the good looks: instead of tomato slices you may also use courgette slices!
Serving: I like to leave the tart in the tart pan – that’s why I use a tart pan made of white porcelain (oven safe, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, freezer save). It looks fine & you’ll need not manage to transfer the tart… (of course: there are also tart pans w/ loose bottoms!)
Now – in general: what’s the difference between a tart & a quiche? I’ve got the impression that there is some confusion sometimes…
There are classic dishes like “Quiche Lorraine” (savory) or “Tarte Tatin” (sweet). However, there are also savory tarts – and I can imagine a sweet quiche…
I like to go with a definition like:
- a quiche is baked in a spring form resulting in rather high edges & a filling layer of up to 5-6 cm.
- a tart is baked in a tart pan resulting in a filling layer of about 2-3 cm max.
You may cover a tart as well as a quiche w/ an additional layer of crust: the result is a pie.
All 3 of the gang may be savory or sweet.
Btw – the good news: if you like more tomato tart just double the ingredients for the 1st & 2nd layer, use a spring form & call it a tomato quiche.
Today we used a pastry based on yeast. If you roam cook books you’ll learn that it’s also possible to use a shortcrust or a puff pastry – although sometimes for special tarts, quiches or pies the crust is limited to one of the possibilities. I’ll write about my experiences with different pastries for tarts, quiches & pies soon.
The Businesswoman with too many office hours thinks
If I try to create homemade tart pastry it seems to lengthen the whole process – nevertheless: an introduction into the baking 101 of tart pastry, quiche pastry etc. will be interesting – if only to be informed & fit for small talk.
For a start I like the tomato tart because of its variances. Overall there will be always a mediterranean flavour – nothing else, but when shopping I can rely on what’s available!