The local farmer’s market on 30a in Rosemary Beach was the inspiration for this delicious, beautiful, savory tart. Although sometimes, making your own crust seems daunting and does require some extra planning, it is easier than you may imagine. I always use an all butter crust and a bit of vodka as the liquid which yields a flakier result. By baking the crust before adding the egg mixture, the crust resists the soggy bottom that sometimes happens when fillings are added. The farmer’s market tomatoes were the inspiration for this offering and I topped an egg-feta filling with thinly sliced yellow and red tomatoes (look for freshest tomatoes available), and after the tart cooled, I added finely diced tomatoes that were left over, fresh basil and extra feta on the top. For the feta, look for a greek brand and if possible, buy it in it’s brine. The packaged crumbled feta is often quite dry and is less creamy than the brined version. This tart would be perfect served for lunch, or as a light dinner with a fresh green salad on the side.
Yield : about 8 slices
- 1 1/4 cups flour (I lov Bob’s Red Mill Pastry flour)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons ice cold vodka
- 2 -4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3 large tomatoes, very thinly sliced (yellow, red or heirloom)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup crumbled feta, plus extra for garnish
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons julienned basil for garnish
for crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, thyme and salt. Add diced butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal. With motor running, add vodka first and then add water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball. There may be some flakes of butter and that is fine. Collect dough and flatten into a disc and wrap dough in plastic. Place wrapped dough in fridge, and allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Remove from fridge, and roll out on a floured surface to a 12 inch diameter. Place crust in a fluted 9 inch pan with removable bottom, rolling off any excess dough. Puncture the bottom with the tines of a fork and place in freezer while you preheat oven to 350 (I recommend convection for even baking). Line the crust with parchment paper and place ceramic baking beads or dried beans to cover bottom of crust. Bake crust in oven for about 20 minutes. Remove beads and bake another 10 minutes until crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool while you prepare the filling. Turn oven up to 375.
for filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, 1 cup of crumbled feta and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper (although don’t over salt as feta has plenty). Using a very sharp knife, slice tomatoes with a sharp knife as thinly as possible (about 1/8 of an inch). Place the baked crust on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Pour egg mixture into the crust. Lay tomatoes, overlapping in concentric circles until egg mixture is covered (I alternated between yellow and red) Place tart back in oven and allow it to cook for about 40-45 minutes until filling is set and tomatoes are shriveling a bit. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes (this will make slicing much easier). Dice remaining tomatoes, and place in center of tart. Garnish with basil and additional crumbled feta. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. The tart should come out of fluted pan quite easily and allow for easy slicing. Slice, serve and enjoy!