Friday, June 24, 2011

HOT & CHEESY - The Book

Tomato Tart with Figs, Fontina, and Goat Cheese 

This tart is a favorite in the summer.  This is from my forthcoming book to be published by Wiley, HOT & CHEESY.  You’ll need to blind bake the puff pastry first, which means baking the dough without the filling so that it does not become soggy later.
½ pound puff pastry, defrosted according to package instructions
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 pounds ripe and juicy tomatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh mint
¼ pound fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, cut in 8 thin wedges
¼ pound fresh goat cheese, broken apart
4 fresh figs, quartered
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin to cover the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan, pressing the pastry against the bottom and sides and folding over excess dough to make a thick rim.  Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.  Cut out a 10-inch round of parchment paper and place on top of the pastry.  Fill with 1 pound ceramic pastry baking balls or 1 pound dried beans and bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes.  Remove the tart pan and cool on a rack.  Remove the ceramic balls or dried beans and once cool store for another use.
3. Increase the oven heat to 425 degrees F.
4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat with the garlic clove and when it starts smoking add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, on high until it is thick with large soft chunks, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside with the mint in the sauce while the pastry shell cools.
5. Remove and discard the mint sprigs.  Spoon the chunky tomato sauce over the bottom of the pastry.  Lay the fontina cheese, goat cheese, and figs on top attractively.  Bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Serve hot or warm.
Makes 4 servings

[photo: Clifford A. Wright