- ½ cup butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1½ cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
- 6 or so firm, ripe paste tomatoes, peeled, sliced ¼ to ⅓ inch thick
- ¼ cup Dijon or whole-grain mustard, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, of the best quality you can find
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice (thyme, rosemary, basil, chives, chervil, oregano, tarragon, lemon verbena, etc., or a mixture)
- 1 cup grated cheese (Gruyere is our favorite, but sometimes I use slices of fresh goat cheese)
Makes enough dough for a 14-inch tart pan. (I don’t have one that large. I usually double this recipe to make two 11-inch tarts. I freeze half of the dough to make the second tart the next week.) Use a tart pan with a removable ring, or make it more free-form on a cookie sheet.
- Mix the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse a few times to break the butter into a crumbly, cornmeallike texture. Beat egg with 2 tablespoons ice water. With the processor running, pour in the egg/ water mixture until the dough holds together. If it still seems dry, add the additional tablespoon of water, one teaspoon at a time, until it comes together.
- Gather the dough into a ball and place on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Pat into a disk, about an inch thick. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- When you are ready to roll out the dough, sprinkle just a bit of flour on your prep surface to keep the dough from sticking. Roll out the dough to about 2 inches larger than the diameter of the tart pan. Transfer to the dough to the tart pan or the cookie sheet. If using a tart pan, fold the excess dough over and smooth off the edges. If using the cookie sheet, fold over the dough making an edge about 1 inch tall around the tart.
- To help ensure a dry bottom crust, I partially bake the crust. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake the crust for about 15 minutes.
Tart Filling and Assembly:
- Set sliced tomatoes on absorbent toweling for an hour or more to drain.
- Remove the crust from the oven, and spread a generous amount of Dijon mustard all over the bottom of the crust. Let it sit a minute or two to dry out a bit. Arrange half the tomato slices over the bottom of the tart. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, herbs and a drizzle of the olive oil. Sprinkle half the cheese over the slices. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper, and cheese. Finish with another drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake the tart for about 20 minutes, until the dough is nicely browned and the tomatoes are tender. If the cheese isn’t as brown as you’d like, run it under the broiler for a minute or two.
- Carefully remove the tart ring and serve immediately