This is a great dish if you love tomatoes and Provencal flavours. The combination of the sweet and tart tomatoes with the goats cheese, Dijon mustard and thyme is simply heavenly and certainly conjures up images of Southern France. Aside from tasting delicious, the tart is also rather pretty and reasonably cheap. Also, tomatoes are very good for ones skin, apparently they help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, which in turn helps skin from aging – so eat up ’em tomatoes.
I used baby vine tomatoes as I had a whole lot leftover from a shoot and needed to use them, but tomatoes, cored, skinned and sliced will also work a treat (and perhaps be a bit more Provencal, and easier to skin).
This tart is great served warm or cold and makes for a lovely lunch or as a starter. I made a shortcrust with half butter and half lard, but you can use a all-butter pastry if you are vegetarian.
75g butter, cut into pieces
85g, lard, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
100g goats cheese
15ml Dijon mustard
1kg baby vine tomatoes (or tomatoes cored, skinned and sliced)
salt and pepper
fresh thyme (about 3 stalks), picked
extra virgin olive oil
To make the pastry, place flour in a bowl, add the butter and lard. Rub the together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively place the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Using a round-bladed knife, in a cutting motion, combine the beaten egg and mix until the dough starts to come together, then discard the knife and bring it all together with your fingertips. Again, this can be done in a food processor – pulse until a dough ball forms.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry and and line a 21-22cm flan tin that is about 2cm deep. Place in the fridge and rest for a further 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and blind bake the case for 10 minutes (Bake for a further 5 minutes without the baking paper and beans to ensure a crisp bottom). Once lightly golden, remove form the oven and allow to cool.
While the dough is cooling, begin the tart filling. Skin the tomatoes in boiling water, make sure not to leave them in the boiling water fortoo long as they will become softer the longer you leave them. I leave them in for 45 seconds to a minute and then dunk them into cold water – this help the skin to wrinkle and stops the tomato cooking.
Mix the goats cheese, cream and mustard together until well-combined.
Spread the cheese filling over the pastry base and arrange the tomatoes on top. Season and sprinkle over the picked thyme.
Bake the tart at 200 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the tomatoes just begin to catch.
Serve warm or cold with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.