Tomato manchego tart
Here, the tomatoes are salted before being baked in the tart, as the process draws water and concentrates their flavour. The result is a savoury tart with an intense umami effect
- Serves: 6 persons
- 5 ½kg heirloom tomatoes, a mixture of colours and sizes, cut into 5mm slices
- sea salt flakes
- 250g crème fraîche
- 2thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus a little extra
- 1garlic clove, crushed
- breadcrumbs or semolina
- 25g manchego, finely grated, plus shavings to serve
- olive oil
- 250g plain flour
- 170g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2egg yolks
- 2tsp paprika, plus a little extra to serve
- 2thyme sprigs, leaved picked
Step 1To make the pastry, put the flour in the bowl of a food processor with ¼ tsp of fine sea salt and the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks, then the remaining ingredients and pulse until a coarse breadcrumb texture. Add 1 tbsp of cold water and pulse again until it forms a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
Step 2Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until 4-5mm thick. Use to line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim the pastry edges and prick the base with a fork a few times. Lay a scrunched-up piece of baking paper over the middle and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the paper and bake for a further 10 mins until pale and golden. Cool.
Step 3Meanwhile, put the tomato slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and scatter over the sea salt flakes. Leave at room temperature while the pastry blind bakes.
Step 4Heat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Mix the crème fraîche, thyme and garlic in a small bowl with plenty of seasoning, and pat the tomato slices dry. Scatter the tart base with the breadcrumbs or semolina to absorb any excess liquid. Evenly arrange a layer of tomatoes. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture on top and smooth out to the sides. Scatter over the cheese. Add a second layer of tomatoes in a spiral, overlapping slightly, using the smallest slices in the middle. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 1 hr until the tomatoes have wilted and softened, their flavour concentrated and are golden tinged. Serve warm or cool to room temperature. Scatter with more manchego, the thyme leaves and a pinch of paprika to serve. The tart will keep for three days.