It is the begging of the end… of the summer that is. The warm season always seems to end too soon, and only sooner with every passing year. Albeit how much I love the fall, I can’t help but getting mixed feelings at the first signs of autumn, when the morning air feels fresher, the sun sets earlier and the leaves begin to change their color.
On the one hand, it is quite a melancholic time, but one of the good things about this transition is that fruit trees and vegetables are at their best. At this point one can still enjoy the last few weeks of fresh summer produce and at the same time start tasting the very welcomed new fall harvest, which makes it a very exciting time for us foodies, due to the great variety of produce available and the endless possibilities in the kitchen.
In this occasion, I wanted to pay tribute to a very humble, yet essential summer fruit, the tomato. This wonderful tart is my way of celebrating the perfectly ripe and juicy local tomatoes, which are at their peak right now. They come in so many different varieties, but my favorites are the cherry ones. These are so sweet that you can just pop them in your mouth to enjoy as a healthy snack, sprinkle a little bit of salt for an ideal side dish to go with nearly anything or, as I did, take advantage of their sweetness to make a mouth-watering tart.
Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese And Basil Tart.
*Inspired by the “Upside-down Tomato Tart” in Step-by-step: Baking (Love Food) Book
For the crust:
1¾ cups all-purposed flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp chopped Basil, plus extra to garnish
5-6 Tbsp ice-cold water.
For the filling:
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled.
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
1. To make the crust, place the flour, salt, butter, and chopped basil in a food processor and process until the consistency of breadcrumbs (You can do this by hand, if a food processor is not available).
2. Add the water and process (or knead, if doing it by hand) a couple seconds more to form a soft, not sticky, dough.
3. Roll out the dough on a flat, lightly floured surface, to form a 10 inches circle.
4. Take the dough to a 9-inch tart pan and, using your fingers, press it down to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Discard any excess dough.
5. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent it from rising and take it to the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and lightly golden. When done, remove from the oven and reserve.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the filling; In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir over a medium-high heat until it starts turning golden brown (careful not to burn the sugar, or it will harden).
7. Remove from the heat and quickly add the tomatoes, garlic, and vinegar, stirring to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Leaving out any excess moisture, top the reserved crust with the tomatoes, spreading them evenly. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and take to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
9. Take outside, rest for a couple of minutes and garnish with the reserved basil. Serve warm.