Last week was rather higgledey-piggledey and a little stressful, it felt like I hadn’t stopped. That is why I decided Sunday was a complete day of rest, spent in the garden. I popped to my local artisan food market and bought the most amazing tomatoes, along with a few other locally produced delights. When tomatoes that good are presented to you, you need to let them take centre stage. They need minimal support. So I threw a salad together, made up a cheese board, concocted a few dips and constructed this Tomato and Mascarpone Tart. It was a scrumptious lunch and it couldn’t have been easier or more relaxing.
The quality of the tomatoes make a huge difference here. If you begin with sweet tasty tomatoes then you’ll end up with a delicious, intense flavour in your tart. However if your tomatoes aren’t as sweet as you had hoped then you can add a good pinch of sugar to the top of the tart before you pop it in the oven.
This tart is a doddle to assemble. Pack as many tomatoes slices on top of the pastry and mascarpone as you possibly can because they shrink as they cook. The tart takes time to bake, the reason is you really want to intensify the tomato flavour. Serve warm with a crisp green salad and crusty bread and you have the perfect movable feast.
Tomato & Mascarpone Tart
- 350 g puff pastry
- 1-1.2 kg Ripe vine tomatoes I used heritage
- 150 g mascarpone cheese
- 50 g grated parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 bunch basil leaves only & sliced
- Maldon salt & pepper
- A good pinch granulated sugar if the tomatoes aren't sweet
- Good olive oil to drizzle over the finished tart
- Preheat the oven to 190°C fan
- Roll out the pastry to a circle slightly larger than 30cm. Place the pastry disc on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Prick all over with a fork and then pop it in the fridge while you make the filling and slice the tomatoes.
- Combine the mascarpone, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes and put the ends in a separate pile, (you can use these to make a pasta sauce).
- Spread the mascarpone mixture across the centre of the pastry circle, leaving a space of about 3cm between the edge and the mixture. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, making sure they over lap and are close together,(see photo). Season the tart with a little salt & pepper and sprinkle over a generous pinch of sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150°C fan for a further 35 minutes. Cut away the burnt edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Just before serving drizzle over a little olive oil. Serve with a dressed green salad.