It’s the end of summer. I’ve been trying valiantly to deny it, but here we are. The Minnesota State Fair is in full swing, school is starting next week, and I’ve even seen a few leaves prematurely turning color. Now that it is here, the end of summer means tomatoes. Tons and tons of tomatoes. And what better to showcase the bushels of gorgeous end-of-summer tomatoes but this Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Tart.
After a long and busy week, I drove up to my cabin this weekend, hoping for ONE more sunny day of reading on the dock, but instead it was chilly and pouring rain. Actual sweatshirt weather. No disappointment here, it was just more time to spend perfecting this Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Tart.
I was really hoping to have some great story to share about how the tomatoes I used in this tart were grown organically in my backyard garden. But I’d be lying. Truth is, my backyard garden is currently growing weeds taller than I am. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, and this spring was one of those times. But there is always a possibility that next spring I will get around to planting the garden again…a girl needs to believe, right? Luckily for me and my nonexistent backyard organic vegetables, my local grocery store has fabulous harvest produce from local farms. And the end of the summer heirloom tomatoes are finally ready. Win!
So if you are intimidated by making a crust, this tart is going to intimidate you…but don’t let it! This crust is super forgiving, easy to whip up in a stand mixer and crisps up nicely due to the addition of corn meal. Don’t let a crust stop you. You CAN do it! (OK, ok, cheerleading may not be my forte, but I’m totally trustworthy, so there is that…).
Plus, as soon as you’ve mastered crust, just think of all of the great pies you can make! #skills
Baking the crust prior to adding the filling will keep the crust crispy despite the high water content of the ingredients. After all…there is no room for soggy here! I recommend using pie weights for this one to keep your crust from bubbling, but if you don’t mind bubbles…then proceed at your own risk! You can buy pie weights on Amazon (they are cheap and you can have them delivered in a day or two thanks to PRIME!) or you can certainly use dried beans or even rice. Again, I know this sounds complicated, but I promise-it’s not!
I’ve done this Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Tart multiple different ways and I can tell you without hesitation, do not skip the step of roasting the tomatoes. Period. Don’t even be tempted. Roasting the tomatoes concentrates the flavor and turns them into sweet pops of flavor. Take the time, it’s totally worth it.
So when you’re making this recipe, you’re going to be saying…but where is all of the filling? (Amazing how I can just get in your head like that, right?) The amount listed in the recipe is just a smear-barely enough to cover the whole crust. And the answer is YES! That smear of herb spiked ricotta holds the gorgeous roasted tomatoes in place. If this bothers you, by all means, feel free to double the filling, you will definitely have a softer mouth feel with more ricotta. But if you’re like me and want to truly let the tomatoes shine like the candied jewels they are, then follow the recipe as it’s written.
Top the whole thing with a thin sprinkle of melty fontina and enjoy your summer bounty. You can let me know how much you loved it later!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup fine cornmeal
- 12 Tablespoons cold butter (1/2 sticks), cubed
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 2-4 Tablespoons cold water
- 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fontina cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 cup ricotta
- ¼ cup basil, chopped
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- freshly ground pepper
- a sprinkle of salt
- chopped basil
- Place flour, cornmeal, butter, onion powder and salt into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn on low and add ½ cup of cold water.
- With mixer running slowly add 2-4 Tablespoons of cold water, stopping between Tablespoons to allow dough to absorb the water. (Be careful not to get the dough too wet)
- Stop the mixer when a dough ball forms around the dough hook.
- (If you accidentally get the dough too wet, add flour a Tablespoon at a time until dough reaches desired consistency).
- Remove the dough from the dough hook, divide in half, and shape each half into a disc.
- Wrap the dough in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to overnight.
- While the dough is chilling, place the clove of garlic into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped.
- Add ricotta cheese fontina cheese, chopped basil, chopped chives, and salt into the bowl of the food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Place cheese mixture into a glass container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- (The crust and the cheese mixture can stay overnight in the refrigerator)
- When you are ready to make your tarts, preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm up to room temperature (approximately 10 minutes).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disc of dough to fit a 9 inch tart pan. (you could use pie plates, but be sure to use cooking spray to ensure that your crust will slide out nicely-this is less of an issue with a tart pan that has a removable bottom).
- Place the rolled out dough into the tart pan and press the dough against the bottom and the sides, trim as needed.
- Place a layer of tin foil over the crusts and fill the bottom of the pie pan with pie weights.
- Place tart pans with crusts into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- While crusts are baking, remove cheese mixture from refrigerator, to allow it to warm to room temperature.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lay the tomato slices on the baking sheets and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt.
- When the crusts are done baking, remove them from the oven and place the baking sheets of tomato slices into the 400°F oven.
- Bake the tomato slices for 20 minutes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly while you are assembling the rest of the tart.
- Divide the refrigerated cheese mixture in half.
- Spread the cheese mixture over the crusts.
- Layer the roasted tomatoes on top of the cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle each tart with ¼ cup of shredded fontina cheese.
- Place tarts into oven, cover loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn oven to broil, remove foil and broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted on top (be careful not to burn crusts).
- Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper, salt to taste, and chopped basil.
- Slice and serve.