May 28, 2011

Individual Roasted Tomato Tarts

With summer and its bounty approaching, I thought it would be good to clean out the freezer of goodies from last year. Last summer I made slow-roasted tomatoes with plum tomatoes from the market. They are divine treasures that I didn't want to waste, so I've been saving them for something special. When I found this recipe, I knew I had found a purpose for the intense burst of flavor of roasted tomatoes. I'm so glad I was right.

These tarts can be made with various-sized pans (I used four 4-inch pans), including one large pan (12-inch round). Individual tarts are much cuter, don't you think?

Roasted Tomato Tart
adapted from Italian Food Forever

Olive oil pastry:
1/3 c. olive oil
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c. ice water
1 small egg (or half of a beaten large egg)
1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Ricotta filling:
1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 ch. grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium eggs
Salt & pepper, to taste

1 cup roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
fresh basil

To prepare the olive oil pastry, first place the olive oil in the freezer until it is almost frozen. Place the flour in a bowl and add the baking powder, salt, and dried oregano. In a cup, mix together the egg, vinegar and ice cold water. Once the oil is almost solid, cut it into the flour mixture until you have pea sized crumbs. Add the vinegar/egg liquid slowly, mixing it into the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough. As with any pastry, be careful not to over handle the dough. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out thinly to fit inside chosen tart pan(s). Lay rolled sheet of dough into tart pan(s), trimming the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove tart pan(s) from the refrigerator and prick the bottom all over with the prongs of a fork. Once the oven has reached 350 degrees, bake the pastry for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Mix together the ricotta, eggs, and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and spread this mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust. Arrange tomatoes on top, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the ricotta filling has set, and the pastry is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature and garnish with basil before serving.

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