I'm pretty thrilled that Fall is setting in. I know that a lot of people mourn the end of summer, but I always prefer the milder seasons of Fall and Spring to the extremes of Summer and Winter (yes, I know that Fall's arrival means that Winter is not far behind, but I'm going to choose to ignore that for now). One thing that I will miss about this summer is the surplus of tomatoes that everyone seemed to have in their gardens! I think they were growing like weeds this year or something, because everyone I know with the smallest patch of dirt in their yard was offering me POUNDS at a time! Yes, please.
These particular tomatoes came out of Frank's mom's garden -- a lovely mix of Sweet 100s and Sun Golds. I knew I couldn't use them all up in salads before they went bad (I had a pound and a half!), so instead I baked them into my favorite tart crust with just a touch of garlic. After the tart was out of the oven, I topped it with some fresh chopped basil.
The next time I make this dish, I think I'll grate a generous dusting of Parmesan over the top at the end -- a creamy/salty element would have perked it up just a bit more!
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more when you roll the dough
1/2 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. butter, very cold or frozen
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. ice water
1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (optional)
8 large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until ingredients come together in a dough. Add the egg yolk and process again until combined, being careful not to over-process.
Remove the dough to a bowl and add in the ice water, mixing it in by hand. If the dough seems dry, add slightly more water. Wrap in plastic and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle your counter top with flour and roll the dough out, sprinkling with more flour if it's sticking. Roll the dough out into a circle that is just a few inches wider than your tart pan (I prefer to use one with a removable bottom and crimped edges). Transfer the dough into your tart pan and press evenly into it, removing excess dough from the edges. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart and then place in the freezer for another 15 minutes.
Par-bake the tart -- coat one side of a piece of foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray, and place the buttered side down into the tart pan. Fill the lined tart with dried beans or pie weights to keep the crust from rising during baking. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges of the tart are just golden.
Combine the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in a bowl and stir to combine.
Fill the par-baked crust with the tomato filling. It's OK if all of the tomatoes don't fit perfectly -- they will shrink and fit in during baking. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and return the filled tart to the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
If using the cheese, sprinkle over the top of the tart and return to the oven for an additional 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Finish the tart with the basil chiffonade and serve warm.