Sit up and pay attention kids, this recipe is a bell-ringer/keeper/game-changer/show-stealer/most fantastic tomato tart ehhhhh-ver! And I'm not just whistling Dixie! Nuthin' but the truth...especially when it comes to tomatoes...what's that? You want to know how many tomatoes I've picked thus far?!?! Well brace yourself...it's a whopping TWENTY!!! Twenty golf-balled sized tomatoes!! Yay for me! I'm a tomato grower at last!! Go ahead and laugh, you with your ten plants and so many tomatoes that you have to give them away! I shall still hold my tomato-growing-head high because growing ANY tomatoes in a rain forest without sun is the same as winning the Pulitzer, or an Oscar or even a Blue Ribbon at the Fair in Animal Husbandry! (Don't you think it's curious that the word husband(ry) is used in regards to raising animals? Go ahead, connect the dots, I'll wait, no I won't, let me connect them for you: husbands=animals! BadaBing!) Every year at this time I am well into my annual tomato depression, but this year I have nothing to be depressed about - I have picked TWENTY tomatoes and I just might get FIVE more before Jack Frost comes to town!!
Three cheeses give this tart the umppppffh-factor...Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and cream cheese...a trifecta of cheese! But let's talk crust, shall we? Years ago I posted about the best pie pastry/crust I had ever had...and even after a week of pastry classes at the pastry masters, King Arthur Flour, I have to say "my" pie crust recipe is still the best. But if you want to use refrigerated pie crusts, I won't turn you in, it will work just fine and will taste just great (just not AS great!)
If you don't happen to have a bunch of mini-tart pans in your cupboards, you can make this in one big tart pan, or even a 9x13-inch baking dish (I have not personally done this but I'm pretty sure it would work just fine...well 80% sure, okay, more like 65% but who's counting?!?) The mini-tart pans are 6-inches and bake an individual size tart and who doesn't like their own individual pie?!? They aren't expensive so if you've wanted them before but didn't know what to do with them, now's the time to buy them - just for this recipe!
Alas, I was not able to use any of my own home-grown tomatoes for these tarts...so I purchased beefsteak tomatoes, mainly because I wanted one large slice, however, you can use smaller tomatoes, just cut to fit.
Two weeks ago I went to a new bakery, recommended by pastry-loving-people - Bakery Nouveau. We went to the bakery in West Seattle (there is also one on Capitol Hill) and it was worth the drive over the bridge and everything we tried was worth the calories! I brought home one of their tomato tarts and it was so pretty and just about the best tasting thing I have ever had...this tart is my attempt at recreating theirs...it's not the same, but it's every bit as good...in my humble opinion. This isn't hard to make, so give this a go, really, you'll thank me while you're ringing the Dang Meter, because this one is dang, dang, dang, dang, dang good!
Tomato and Cheese Tart - Pots and Pins
(This recipe makes six 6-inch tarts)
1 package refrigerated pie crust OR 1 batch pie dough, recipe can be found Here
3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Kosher salt for sprinkling on top
Lightly butter or spray, with baking spray, six 6-inch tart pans. Set aside.
Slice tomatoes and set on paper toweling to drain just a bit while you roll out the dough and make filling.
Make pie dough according to directions here, or follow directions for rolling out refrigerated pie crusts. For either homemade pie dough or refrigerated you will have to re-roll the scraps. Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough and place into tart pan, push dough around edges and into bottom, then use the rolling pin to roll across the top of the tart pan, which will cut the excess dough off, leaving you with a perfect crust!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, cream cheese, garlic, egg and pepper and mix until blended. Divide the cheese mixture between the tart pans, spreading evenly and almost filling to the top. Top cheese mixture with tomato slice.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry edges are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle kosher salt over top. Cool 10 minutes, then carefully remove tarts from pans. Serves 6. (These tarts are also great served for breakfast or brunch...just add cooked sausage or BACON to the cheese mixture!! Serioulsy delish!)