Tomato & Cantal Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes one 10- or 11 inch 25- or 28 cm ) tart, about

    8

    generous servings

Appears in

This recipe comes from my late friend, cooking-school owner Peter Kump. Peter always made this tart for summer parties at his house in East Hampton on Long Island. The secret of its success lies in having perfectly ripe tomatoes, which you can only get during the summer from your own garden or at a farmer’s market. I was so eager to prepare this once during the winter that I experimented with baking sliced plum (Roma) tomatoes with a little salt and sugar and it worked perfectly. See the variation at the end of the recipe for instructions on how to do this. Cantal is a French cheese very similar to Gruyère, which makes an acceptable substitute. Another good substitute is Italian Fontina.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • One 10- or 11-inch tart crust, unbaked, made from Rich Pie Dough, or No-Roll Flaky Dough
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) Cantal cheese, coarsely shredded, about 2 cups
  • 2 perfectly ripe tomatoes, about 12 ounces (350 grams), sliced ¼ inch ( cm) thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 or 8 leaves fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and torn into small pieces

Method

  1. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Spread the mustard in the bottom of the tart crust and top with about half the cheese.
  3. Arrange the tomato slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the cheese. Grind some pepper on the tomatoes, but don’t salt them or they will get very watery while baking. Top the tomatoes with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake the tart until the crust is baked through and well colored on the bottom and the cheese is bubbling, about 25 minutes.
  5. Unmold the tart while it is warm and slide it to a platter. Drizzle the oil over the surface and scatter with the basil. Serve immediately.

Serving

This is a perfect lunch dish or hors d’oeuvre. Serve with a green salad for lunch.

Storage

This doesn’t make particularly good leftovers because the cheese congeals. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in a toaster oven.

Variations

ROASTED TOMATO & CANTAL TART: Slice 8 plum tomatoes, as ripe as possible, and arrange them in a single layer on a couple of pans lined with buttered parchment or foil. Sprinkle very sparingly with salt and sugar and bake them at 350°F (180°C) until they are slightly shriveled and the excess moisture has evaporated, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on the pans before continuing with the tart recipe, substituting these for the fresh ripe tomatoes.

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