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Just some quick and easy tomato tarts here today. I find baking tomatoes like this to be a great way to concentrate their flavor. These tarts are made with the same easy and flaky dough recipe from cooks.com that I used for my chocolate espresso meringue tarts a while ago and then I just added gruyere, the tomatoes, thyme and salt and pepper. Yum!
Tomato Tarts Recipe
This recipe will make four 3.5 – inch tarts.
For the crust:
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into small chunks
For the filling:
- 1 cup shredded gruyere
- 28 cherry tomatoes
- leaves of about 8 sprigs of thyme
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the vinegar and the milk. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour and salt, then cut in the shortening and the butter.
- Pour the milk/vinegar into the flour/fat and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore (it should have the consistency of play dough).
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough out thin and fit into four 3.5-inch ramekins. (Gather the scraps and roll them out again).
- Divide the cheese among the ramekins.
- Divide the thyme leaves among the ramekins.
- Slice the tomatoes and fit them on top of the cheese and thyme.
- Sprinkle some salt and freshly cracked black pepper over the tomatoes.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden-brown (25 to 30 minutes).
Food Photography and Styling: I’ve baked these little tarts many times and I usually take them out of their molds but they always look very messy that way so I decided for the photo to bake them in nice ramekins and leave them in there. The little “trivet” underneath the ramekin is a small tile with a pattern glued onto it. (I didn’t make that myself, I bought it at a yard sale). I have burlap in different colors and used a beige piece as a tablecloth and then put my brown burlap ribbon on top. Red and green go well together so I made sure to sprinkle some fresh thyme all over the set. I lit the set from the side and back with strobe and reflected some light back onto the front of the set.
Nikon D300, 105mm, f/5, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.