Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart

Poor Roommate. She’d get home from grad school, open the fridge, and see a covered pie plate where there hadn’t been one before. She’d hope against hope that it would be chocolate pie, or key lime pie, or pecan pie, or anything at all except what it was: a tart starring her least favorite fruit- the tomato.

I’m so sorry, Roommate. I should have put a sticky note on it or something, to avoid shattered dreams.

Because OMG I LOVE THIS THING SO MUCH. It’s savory and not sweet, which I admit is a departure from my usual M.O., but seriously: it’s amazing. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. I love it enough that I’m willing to crank up my poorly-insulated oven and make one even though it’ll turn the front half of my apartment into a Bikram studio. You take a flaky pie crust, layer it with Dijon mustard, sliced tomatoes, rounds of goat cheese, and a mix of fresh herbs, and then you drizzle honey on top before sliding it into a super hot oven. Does the honey give you pause? It did for me, but I was young and foolish to worry. Instead of tasting weird, it tastes magnificent. It’s the sort of thing Imaginary Sweets would whip up for lunch with a green salad and lots of white wine with her Imaginary Dashing European Boyfriend in the charming kitchen of their cottage somewhere in a valley by the sea with a garden and probably also cats. With sassy lingerie drying on a line in the sun, obviously.  Imaginary Sweets suffers from no shortage of unrealistic expectations.

French Tomato Tart
by David Lebovitz, of ice cream fame

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For the crust:

1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
4 1/2 ounces (125 g) (1 and 1/8 stick, 9 tbsp.) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Dijon or whole-grain mustard (a tablespoon or two)
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
8 ounces (250 g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds

Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorful honey (optional my ass. Put the honey in or live to regret it)

Stir flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Dump in the chilled butter cubes. You can use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter, but I get the best results by pinching each little butter cube between my thumb and forefinger together with flour, slowly incorporating the butter, but still leaving plenty of good-sized butter bits that will melt in the oven and make the crust all flaky. The mixture will eventually get crumbly, like damp sand or cornmeal. Mix the egg and water together in a small bowl and pour into the center of the dry ingredients. Stir the dough until it loosely comes together, but again, you don’t want to overmix. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead briefly, and then gather dough into a ball. Roll out dough to fit an 8-9 inch tart pan (I use a Pyrex pie pan), or you can roll out an 11-12-inch circle of dough and make a free-form tart. If you’re using a pan, gently lift the dough into the pan and trim off any overhanging edges. If going the free-form route, lay the circle of dough on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and “dock” it by pressing firmly with your fingertips in a few places.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Tart assembled and ready for the oven. My pie crust is super sloppy this time around. It’s “rustic”, roll with it.

Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard evenly over the prepared crust and allow it to dry out for about ten minutes. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them in an even layer on top of the crust. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with about half of the herbs, then evenly layer the goat cheese rounds on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle honey over the top of the tart. If you’re making a free-form tart, fold the edges of the crust over to envelope the filling. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is fully cooked and golden, the goat cheese is lightly browned, and the tomatoes are tender. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Tiny kitchen menace. No tart for you!

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You can be much more generous with the herbs than I was, but I was using the tail-end of a bunch of fresh thyme and did my best.  Enjoy!

9 Comments on Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart

  1. mydearbakes
    June 29, 2012 at 10:56 am (6 years ago)

    What a yummy looking post! =)

    Reply
    • Sweets
      June 29, 2012 at 11:06 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks! It definitely hit the spot last night :)

      Reply
  2. lauriedancer
    June 29, 2012 at 11:02 am (6 years ago)

    This looks delish!!!!!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      June 29, 2012 at 11:06 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Laurie! It’s really easy, and since the tomatoes right now are great, it tastes so nice.

      Reply
  3. Mary
    June 29, 2012 at 11:04 am (6 years ago)

    I also love this recipe to death. I’d never seen a pastry crust with egg in it before, but I love what it does to the texture–it comes out totally mellow and easy to handle, and the crust is tender without being too greasy. I’ve used this basic idea to make tarts out of basically everything we bring home from the farmer’s market in the summers–zucchini and squash, spinach or chard, onions, peppers, sausage, and all kinds of cheeses. But that specific flavor combination is definitely at the top.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      June 29, 2012 at 11:07 am (6 years ago)

      Agreed: I want to use this pastry crust ALL THE TIME. Also, um, you have blown my mind re: branching out into other toppings (sausage and onions and peppers, yes please). See, this is why I bake: I follow recipes. Thank you for thinking more creatively and showing me the light.

      Reply
  4. questfortheperfectbra
    June 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh man… cats, food, bras, body image, and dance… I love it!

    This tart looks amazing! Being an ex-vegan (darn B12 issues), I’d opt for like 1/4 of the cheese, but the honey-goat cheese-tomato combination sounds lovely. I could also see this working on phyllo.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      June 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm (6 years ago)

      Those are great suggestions! I confess the original recipe appears to use less cheese. Either his tart was bigger than mine or I got carried away :) You’ll love the honey-cheese-tomato combo! And phyllo is a great suggestion; it would certainly cut down on prep time, and you could turn it into great party appetizers. Man, commenters: y’all are giving me good ideas today.

      Reply
  5. Mom
    June 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm (6 years ago)

    I wish I were there!

    Reply

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