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Gâteau de Tomates d'Eté

Upside-down Tomato Tart

Makes 4 servings

 

This upside-down tomato tart reminds me of a weathered, bougainvillea-covered barn, not in Paris, of course, but in the South. The pastry bubbles and browns to crispness, as if it were the sun that parched it, not your oven, and the tomatoes dry out and caramelize to their essential sunny flavor. Don't refrigerate this tart.

 

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
12 ripe but firm Roma
   (plum) tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 recipe Savory Tart Crust
Fresh basil sprigs for garnish

1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and boil the mixture until it turns dark and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

2. Cut out the tomato cores, quarter the tomatoes from tip to stem, and gently squeeze out the seeds. Place the tomato quarters in a bowl, add the vinegar syrup, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil, and toss well.

3. Arrange the tomatoes in a tight rose-petal pattern in a 7-inch-round, 2-inch-deep nonstick baking dish and pour over any syrup remaining in the bowl. Place in a cold oven, turn the oven to 375 degrees F, and bake for 1 hour.

4. Roll out the pastry into a 7-inch circle. Cover the tomatoes with the pastry, replace in the oven, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

5. Let the tart cool for 20 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. Decorate with fresh basil and serve at room temperature.

 

Pâte Brisée
Savory Tart Crust

Makes one 9 inch tart shell

 

1-1/2 cups pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
chilled and cut into 9 slices
1 large egg yolk
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, if needed

 

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Add the butter and yolk. Pulse the food processor or run the mixer until the mixture just begins to hold together; it should resemble coarse meal. If the mixture seems too crumbly and won't bold together, add a tablespoon or 2 of water. Do not overwork the dough. Transfer the dough to a work surface and press it into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before using. (It may be frozen for up to one month.)

 

Parisian Home Cooking
Conversations, Recipes, and Tips from the
Cooks and Food Merchants of Paris
By Michael Roberts
William Morrow & Company
Hardcover, $25.00, June 1999
ISBN: 0-688-13868-3
Recipe Reprinted by permission.

 

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This page created July 1999


 


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