I love tomatoes and I can not resist the small, sun ripened local ones; they are sweet and fragrant and go incredibly well with goat cheese, slightly caramelized onion and herbes de Provence. That’s all there is in the filling of this tart, and those ingredients make the tomatoes shine. I love making tarts, eating tarts and even looking at tarts. I especially like individual ones for dinner parties, they are easy to serve and I think they look very elegant when everyone has one perfect tart on their plates. I made 4 4 ½ inch ones but this recipe also makes a 9-10 inch tart.
For the crust, I used a simple pate brisée which works well every time as long as the ingredients are cold, you let the dough rest in the fridge before rolling and don’t stretch the dough when fitting it into the tart pan. If you are planning to make the tart ahead of time, you can make the dough the day before, place into the tart pan and cook a few hours before serving, the filling too can be made the day before
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 stick (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, into small cubes
- 4-5 tbsp ice water
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 oz. mild soft goat cheese
- 2 tbsp crème fraiche or sour cream
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence plus more for sprinkling over the tomatoes
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
To make the crust, place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse for 2 seconds to combine, add the cold butter and pulse until the butter cubes are the size of peas. Start with 2 tablespoons of ice cold water and add 1 tablespoon at a time pulsing, try to avoid adding too much water, the dough should come together when you squeeze the mixture in your hand. Gather the dough together on the counter, form a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll the dough and fit into one large tart pan or in individual ones, using the rolling pin remove the excess dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, dock the dough with a fork, and line the tart shell with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and use either pie weights or beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and return the tart to the oven, bake for another 10 minutes and let it cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, sauté the onion and olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, let it cool to room temperature. Add the goat cheese and mix well, then add the crème fraiche or the sour cream and herbes de Provence, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Once the tart shell(s) have been cooled to room temperature, fill with goat cheese mixture, arrange the tomatoes on top, sprinkle with a little herbes de Provence and bake until the crust looks golden and the tomatoes are slightly charred. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and serve.