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not your average tomato tart

The tomato tart recipe I am about to give you is probably different than the tomato tarts you are used to. Generally a tomato tart looks something like this.

It makes for a light refreshing summer-time meal.

The tart recipe I’m about to give you is for the fall and winter. Hearty and immensely  flavorful! It may seem like a bit of work, but the steps are leisurely and all steps can be done ahead and then assembled just before you’re ready to serve.

It makes two 8-inch square or 8-inch round tarts. Alternately, you may make individual tarts, as pictured below. The dough will make about 10  individual tarts and you may have a bit of filling left over. The oven temperature and baking times remain the same, no matter the size.

As an added bonus, tomorrow I’ll be giving you a “recipe” using the tomato peels. It will be my first installment of “The 12 Gifts of Christmas” – so do not throw out those peels!

Also, I will apologize in advance for the photos – I was having some camera issues and didn’t know it until I loaded the pictures onto the computer.

Tomato Tarts with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Gruyere

Pate Brisee
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water, more if needed

Filling
8 cups (about 6 pounds) peeled and seeded chopped tomatoes (directions and photos on how to peel and seed at the end of post)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup chicken broth, reduced to 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1  3/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese, divided

Pate Brisee: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.  Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Roll chilled dough to about 1/4-inch thick and fit two 8-inch square tart pans, firmly pressing into the bottom and sides. Chill again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the tarts with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 14 minutes.  Remove foil and weights and return to oven until light brown. Set aside on a rack to cool.

Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Place the chopped tomatoes into a large skillet and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in another skillet and sauté the pancetta until slightly crisp. Add the onion to the skillet with the pancetta and continue cooking until onion is lightly browned.  Transfer to a plate, do not clean the skillet.

To the simmering tomatoes add the wine, garlic, chicken broth, and sugar and continue to simmer.

Melt the butter in the skillet used to cook the pancetta. Sauté the mushrooms until most of their water is released. Add the mushrooms to the tomato mixture along with the sautéed pancetta-onion mixture. Add the prosciutto and basil to the mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer filling until it is very thick.

Sprinkle each cooled tart shell with the 3/4 cup of the Gruyere cheese.

Fill with the tomato filling and sprinkle top of each with 1/4 cup cheese. Place in oven just until the cheese on top is melted.

Each square or round 8-inch tart serves 9

* To Peel Tomatoes: Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil.

 Fill a bowl with ice and water.  Cut a small “X” in the bottom end of each tomato.

Place in boiling water just until the peel begins to pull away where the “X” has been made.  Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and drop into ice water.

Use a paring knife to pull the peels from the tomatoes. Reserve peels for a recipe that will be posted tomorrow.

* To Seed Tomatoes: Cut each tomato in half through the equator – the stem end is the North Pole.

Squeeze each half over a bowl to release the juices and most of the seeds.  Usually the real reason for seeding a tomato is to eliminate the juices. In this case, there was over 2 cups of liquid released from the tomatoes. Much easier to squeeze them first and then cook, rather than cooking off all that liquid!

The juice may be run through a strainer, eliminating the seeds, to produce tomato water. READ THIS to learn more.


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2 comments

1 Marissa { 11.15.12 at 2:15 PM }

I want these food gifts! 😉

2 Karen { 11.18.12 at 6:39 PM }

Soooooooo scrumptious. My fav from her recent class. Well worth the effort.

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