This is Eric Lanyard’s savoury version of the classic Tarte Tatin from his book Tart it Up!: Sweet and Savoury Tarts and Pies.published by Mitchell Beazley. ‘I love heirloom tomatoes. They make great colourful salads and are so flavoursome, too.’
500g ready-made or homemade puff pastry (see recipe below)
Plain flour, for dusting
2 teaspooons extra virgin olive oil
Bunch of thyme, leaves picked
12 mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved
75g Gruyére cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
Bunch of basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Take a 25cm (10 inch) diameter, 4cm (1 and 1/2 inches) deep oven-proof flan dish, (or a tarte tatin tin, if you have one). Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to roughly 3-4mm/about 1/4 inch thick – bigger in diameter than the dish. Rub the inside of the dish with the olive oil. Scatter the thyme leaves over the base of the dish.
2. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then place them in the dish cut side up (they must be packed very tightly together as they will shrink). Bake in a preheated oven, 200C/400F/Gas 6, for 25 minutes, then carefully pour off all the juices that have been released during cooking. Sprinkle over the cheese.
3. Using a palette knife spread the mustard carefully over the pastry disc. Place the pastry, mustard side down, on top of the tomatoes and tuck in the overhanging edges to create a crust. Prick the pastry with a knife a few times to help release the steam.
4. Place back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Place a large plate over the flan dish, hold them together firmly, then turn them over so that the tart is on the plate, being careful not to burn yourself on any hot juices. Just before serving, scatter basil leaves over the tart.
Eric Lanyard’s Tip
This is delicious served warm, alongside a cold salad of mixed French beans and broad beans with a sweet shallot dressing.
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