Thursday, August 18, 2011

Provençal Tomato Tart with a Crunchy Savory Tart Crust

This is a wonderful way to use the abundance of tomatoes from your garden or farm market. I wouldn't exactly call it a quiche, although it does have a little egg custard to bind the filling together. The main stars are the tomatoes, and the Gruyere cheese, and the herbs. There's also a little Dijon mustard in there, but it's not noticeable - it just adds a little extra flavor.

And the crust! I loved the slight crunch from the addition of semolina flour. It is the perfect complement to the savory filling.

The tart calls for a bit of herbes de Provence, but since my bottle of herbes de Provence is getting old, I thought I'd chop up a combination of herbs from my garden - thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, and summer savory (new to my garden this year). It's delicious, fresh, seasonal, and pretty too.

Provençal Tart with Gruyere and Herbes de Provence
from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau

one par-baked 9-inch Crunchy Savory Tart Crust (recipe below)
12-15 plum tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (I used a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage, summer savory, and oregano)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup light cream
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the tomato slices in a colander and place it in the sink. Let the tomatoes drain their excess water for 15 minutes.

Spread the mustard evenly over the tart shell, then sprinkle the cheese and half of the herbs. Lay the tomato slices in overlapping concentric circles until the crust is entirely covered.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the cream, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture evenly over the tomatoes until it comes to about 1/4 inch from the top edge of the crust. Pour a little cream on top if there is not enough to fill the tart.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the custard is set. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crunchy Savory Tart Crust
from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons cold solid vegetable shortening
a glass of ice water

Put flours and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to combine.

Add the butter and shortening and pulse several time until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some butter chunks still visible.

Remove the blade from the food processor and dump the dough into a large bowl. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water evenly over the dough, then use your hands or a wooden spoon to bring the dough together to form a ball. The dough should be just past crumbly, but holding together. Add more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, if necessary to get the dough to come together.

Cut the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness, fit it into your tart pan, and trim the edges. Chill 30 minutes. Prick the bottom of the tart with the tines of a fork, line the tart with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Place the tart shell on the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights from the pan and return the tart crust to the oven. Bake another 5-10 minutes for a par-baked shell (crust is golden brown and no doughy areas remain), or bake for 10-20 minutes for fully-baked tart shell (golden brown all over). Cool on a wire rack.


  1. I just picked a bunch of ripe tomatoes and will head to the store to find semolina flour and make this for the weekend! Thanks! ps(we need to get together once our Costa Rican friend comes home!)

  2. Hi Deanna,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I will let you know as I post more Turkish food :) This tomato tart looks delicious! I haven't tried tart crust with semolina flour before I will definetely try this soon!

  3. Oh yum.

    Hubby's in the hospital for a while (could be a few more weeks) and I'm sad that he's missing all the tomatoes right now. This will make him feel better. I even have all the ingr on hand.

    (Mm, this would be good cold for breakfast.)

    My herbes de Provence incl lavender. I think that would work, don't you? What's your thought on adding maybe a little rosemary or lemon zest to the crust? Or a little parm cheese?



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