RECIPE | TOMATO AND RED ONION TART
A perfectly adaptable handmade tomato and herb tart.
Tomato and red onion tart
A lovely hand formed tart which uses whatever tomatoes and fresh herbs you have to hand. Looks great with different varieties, colours and sizes of tomato. Serve hot or cold.
Preparation - 30 - 40 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time
Bake - 30 minutes + 20 minutes chilling time pre baking.
Serves - 4 -6 as a side or appetiser, 2-3 as a main dish.
For the pastry
250g light Spelt flour
10g finely grated Grana Padano, or similar 170g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Pinch of fine sea salt
3-4 tablespoons of ice cold water
1 beaten egg for egg wash
For the filling
Tomatoes of choice, 3 - 4 large, or 250g cherry tomatoes, or a mix of the two. Cut into slices, thin quarters or halves
2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
30g grated Gruyere cheese
1 Tbsp creme fraiche
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh herbs such as Tarragon, Basil or Thyme
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
A handful of Pine nuts and micro greens or cress to scatter over the top of the tart
Make the pastry by hand. Add the flour to a large bowl along with the pinch of salt. Add the cubes of chilled butter and begin swiftly rubbing into the flour with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Try not to over handle the pastry and keeping hands as cold as possible will help. Add the parmesan cheese and mix through. Add a tablespoon or two of very cold ( or iced ) water to the pastry and begin to combine with a butter knife or small palette knife. Add a bit more water if necessary until a soft dough is formed.
Alternatively the pastry can be made in a food processor, add all the ingredients except the water and blitz to form breadcrumbs then add the chilled water slowly through the feed tube until it forms a dough.
Place the ball of dough on a large sheet of baking paper - this will be used to bake the tart on later so make it roughly the size of the baking sheet you intend to use. Flatten the ball ever so slightly with the heel of your hand to make it a disc shape. Wrap the baking paper around like a parcel and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Whilst the dough is chilling, make the red onion filling.
Place the slices of red onion in a large pan with the oil and heat gently for about 5 minutes until the onion cooks and softens.
Add the creme fraiche to a small bowl with the mustard and mix to combine. Add this to the pan of red onion and stir through on a very low heat for about 1-2 minutes. Take off the heat and put the mixture into a small bowl and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Take the dough out of the fridge and unwrap, but leave the baking paper beneath the dough, Add a sprinkling of flour on top and roll out to a rough circle shape and until the dough is about 1⁄4 inch thick.
Spoon the red onion mix into the centre of the pastry circle keeping a clear edge around the pastry of about 3 inches. Sprinkle the gruyere cheese over the top of the red onion mix.
Then add the tomato slices and wedges being careful not to overload. If using a mix of large and cherry tomatoes, place the larger slices down first and top with the halves of cherry tomatoes.
Roll up the edges of the pastry, twisting and pinching as you go to create a crusted edge. Try to smooth over and fill any holes and tears in the pastry. Brush egg wash over the pastry edge.
Place the baking paper and tart on a baking tray. For best results, chill again in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is baked golden.
Serve warm or cold with a garnish of fresh herbs and with a sprinkling of micro greens or cress.
Substitute the Spelt flour for 150g Wholemeal flour and 100g Plain flour.
Use grated Cheddar cheese instead of Gruyere.
The dough can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days or wrapped well and stored in the freezer for a later date.
Can also be made as small individual tarts, just divide the dough into equal quantities and continue with the recipe.
Any leftover tart will keep well, wrapped in tin foil, in the fridge for up to 2 days.