Wow this was good! Steve and I enjoyed this freshly baked, slightly warm tomato tart along with grilled chicken and fresh green beans. A delicious late summer meal.
Since tomatoes are out in FORCE right now I decided to make this Provençal tart, ramping up the cheese to include both Swiss cave-aged gruyère and a crumbling type chevre from Pélussin France, located in the Loire department just south of Lyon. Once again, thanks to The Cheese Lady here in Grand Rapids MI for a great selection of cheeses.
This tart is one of those things that you can play around with, changing up the herbs, the cheese, the amount of mustard, even the size and type of tomato. It’s a simple approach - a blind-baked pâte brisée crust, a schmear of Dijon mustard and a layer of grated cheese all topped with slices of garden fresh tomatoes seasoned with a little salt, pepper and your choice of herbs. I added some dabs of goat cheese on top just to give it that certain something. Then it all goes into the oven.
Let’s go through the steps OK?
First line the tart pan with tasty pâte brisée.
Once lined and pricked all over with my trusty fork, I place the tart pan on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze it for 15-20 minutes while heating the oven to 425ºF. Once firm, it makes it much easier to line it with a round of parchment and fill it with dried beans for blind baking.
Now bake it on the lower rack for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400º, move it up to the middle rack and give it another 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and remove the weights. The crust should be starting to set although the bottom will be a bit moist and doughy and will need a bit more baking to finish it off.
Pop it back into the oven without the weights and give it another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. I often decrease my oven temp to 375 for this step and, as usual, keep on eye on what’s happening in there.
Decrease the oven temp to 350º. While the crust cools, thinly slice 2-3 fresh, ripe medium tomatoes, grate up a cup (about 4 ounces) of gruyère and have some Dijon mustard at the ready. I like to blend some regular Dijon with a nice coarse grainy mustard, 2-3 tablespoons total. Maille is a great brand and, if you’re in Paris, you can visit their wonderful shop right near Place de la Madeleine.
Spread a thin layer of mustard over the bottom of the cooled crust. I used 2 tablespoons since I like a more subtle mustard flavor, but you can certainly use more if you wish!
Sprinkle the grated gruyère over it.
Arrange your tomatoes in concentric circles, overlapping each slice. I also tucked in some halved orange and dark red cherry tomatoes for some additional color.
It’s pretty traditional to finish off these tarts with salt, pepper, fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil before baking, but I went for an addition of crumbled goat’s cheese dotted over the tomatoes. Then some freshly grated black pepper, a pinch of two of salt, a sprinkling of herbes de provence and it’s ready to go into the oven.
Bake it for about 20-25 minutes until the goat cheese is starting to brown, the tomatoes are starting to shrivel and the aroma is hitting your nostrils just so.
The combo of nutty gruyère, warm fresh tomatoes, the tangy, creamy goat’s cheese and the perfect hint of mustard and herbs was absolutely delicious. Not only that, it’s très, très facile. You can do it!
This one’s a keeper, right Steve?