Monday, May 01, 2006

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Erin and Simon came over for dinner on Saturday. We had the Heirloom Tomato Tart, Potato Salad with Dill, and Chocolate Fondue for dessert. We ate, Max and I told them about our trip to Berlin, and after dinner we played Uno and watched our wedding video. Tons of fun!

HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART

For black pepper parmesan pastry
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan or romano
1/2 teaspoon (freshly grated) black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For filling
3/4-1 lb fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), very thinly sliced
1/2 cup pesto
2 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced 3/4 inch thick

Special equipment: pie weights (or raw rice)

Make pastry the night before: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, parmesan, pepper, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in food processor) until incorporated.
Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together without falling apart, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition until incorporated, continuing to test. (Do not overwork dough, or it will become tough.)

Turn out dough onto a work surface (and divide into 2 portions). With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather both portions of dough into 1 ball, then pat into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until more firm, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll out dough between two layers of plastic wrap (or on a lightly floured surface) into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch round (tart) pan with a removable rim. (Roll rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim.) Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights (or rice). Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack. Keep covered, at room temperature.

Black pepper parmesan pastry

Fill tart shell a few hours before dinner: (Remove side of pan and slide shell onto a platter.) Arrange one third of mozzarella in bottom of shell and spread one third of pesto over cheese. Arrange one third of tomato slices, overlapping, on top of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering twice.

Gourmet July 2001
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