Fresh from the Garden - Heirloom Tart
As one who loves tomatoes, especially heirlooms, when I came across chef Alex Hitz’s recipe in September’s issue of House Beautiful, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. After all, I love pie as well, so I couldn’t think of a better combo.
What makes this recipe a decadent treat is the mayonnaise cheese mixture that sits between the crust and the tomatoes. Serve with a simple green salad dusted with a classic champagne vinaigrette (3 tbs EVOO, 1 Tbs champagne vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), a dash of pepper and 1/4 tsp of Dijon mustard), pour yourself a crisp glass of viognier, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio and savor the butter crust along with the fresh summer flavor of the sun kissed tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomato Pie
(For the Pie)
Yield: 8–10 servings
2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved, then sliced thin
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup homemade mayonnaise
1 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 medium shallot, peeled
1 green onion
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, firmly packed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, firmly packed
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 to 1½ tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, and preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Place the tomato slices on a rack. Salt both sides, using 1½ teaspoons salt total. Let the slices drain for at least an hour to remove excess water.
3. Roll out the pâte brisée or premade crust, and press it into the buttered pan. Poke it all over with a fork, and bake until brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
4. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the foaming has subsided, sauté the onions until slightly soft, a couple of minutes, and then add the garlic. Continue to sauté until the onions and garlic are translucent, approximately 10 to 12 minutes total.
5. Place the homemade mayonnaise, basil leaves, parsley, shallot, and green onion in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until the mixture is green and fully mixed, approximately 1 minute.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise mixture, Gruyère, cheddar, and ½ cup Parmesan, stirring thoroughly.
7. Spread mayonnaise-cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
8. Place sautéed onions and garlic evenly on top of mayonnaise mixture, and arrange the drained tomato slices in a pretty pattern on top of everything.
9. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and coarsely ground black pepper, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
10. Let pie rest for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold with additional basil mayonnaise.
For the Perfect Homemade Mayonnaise
(I actually saved myself some time, and used mayonnaise from the store, but if you’re feeling ambitious, here’s the recipe.)
Yield: 1 cup
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil.
2. Process ingredients until the yolks are thick and sticky, about 2 minutes.
3. Continue to process, adding the oil slowly in a steady stream through the opening in the top of the processor, making sure it is getting fully incorporated. Once all the oil has been added, the mayonnaise should be thick, luxurious, and fully emulsified.
For the Pâte Brisée
I used my own tart crust recipe, click here, or you can use a ready-made crust from the store.
All images by TSLL