September 7, 2016

Tomato and Cheddar Tart with a Savory Parmesan Crust

Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks, and here I am posting a summery tomato tart recipe. I think I'm in denial that summer is almost over, or rather, I'm convinced that I haven't eaten nearly enough tomatoes this season. So until the leaves have completely fallen off the trees and my basil plant is dead, I am going to live this season out to the fullest. In all seriousness, though, I have a pumpkin recipe coming next week. I wouldn't do that to you guys.

So, for one last summer hurrah, I bought some end of the season heirloom tomatoes and a tub of salted caramel gelato - for good measures. The tomatoes had been sitting on the counter for a couple of days, destined to turn into a pile of mush. The gelato, on the other hand, completely gone. I was going to use the tomatoes in a scramble, but then we went out for brunch. I was going to use them for TLT's (tempeh lettuce tomato) sandwiches, but then we decided to go to the state fair where I ate so much fair food that I couldn't even stomach another bite.

Last night, after a long day spent in the kitchen, fixing our crooked tile backsplash and our janky outlets, we went for a pre-dinner walk where I dreamed up a recipe for this tomato and cheddar tart. It's more of a quiche rather, but I like to call it a tart because I think the word 'quiche' sometimes throws people off. I've been doing a lot of experimenting lately with egg tarts - some for work, the rest for my own personal enjoyment. I've narrowed in on a crust that I find to be a perfect vessel for any savory pie. I add a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese which transforms the crust into something more reminiscent of a cheddar croissant. I, of course, add a generous portion of sharp cheddar to the base of the tart before I add the eggs. A thick layer of the juiciest tomatoes on top with a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper completes this dish. I'm really fond of tomato tarts. The combination of the acidity from the tomatoes and the salty savoriness from the eggs, cheese, and crust is something incredible.

serves 4
prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 60 minutes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tbsp cold ice water

3 large eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
2 large tomatoes, sliced

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Add the butter to the flour and work the mixture between your fingers, breaking down the pieces of butter until the flour and butter is nice and crumbly. No large pieces of butter should remain.

Slowly drizzle in a tbsp at a time of ice cold water, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. With one hand, gently knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together. Flatten into a disc and wrap with Saran wrap. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and roll out the dough into a circle - roughly 12 x 12 inches. Lay the dough onto a 9 inch tart pan. Press the dough flat into the bottom and then up the sides of the pan. Trim away any excess dough. Place the tart shell back into the fridge while you make the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a wire whisk.

Remove the tart shell from the fridge and layer the bottom with shredded cheese.

Pour the egg mixture on top, then top with the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the top with a little extra salt and pepper.

Place the tart onto a baking sheet and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 °F and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the quiche is cooked through the center.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve warm or cold. Can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.


  1. Truth be said, I could live off on quiches and tarts alone and be a very happy ball - because I'd be rollin' instead of walking! Tomato tart or quiche has been my lately go to when I get the craves, so I've had a few. BUt never, for one second, has it crossed my mind to add a scatter of cheese on top of the base before I put in the rest of the ingredients. As for the parmesan on the crust dough, been there and want to be nowhere else since. It's become an addiction for me ahahahah!

  2. I am such a fan of sprinkling some cheese on top of the bottom of my tart/pie crusts before baking savory pies! Not only does it do that delicious 'cheddar croissant' thing you talked about (so buttery and good!), but I find it really forms a barrier between the wet filling and the crust, preventing the dough from being too soggy. Either way, so yummy- a perfect way to cling desperately and deliciously to summer :)

  3. Looks fabulous! What should the temperature be reduced to for the last 45 minutes of baking?

    1. I just added it to the recipe. Thanks for catching that.

    2. I just added it to the recipe. Thanks for catching that.

  4. This is on my list to make this week, it looks beautiful.

  5. This is incredible. Such a perfect summer send-off, and I can just imagine how the tomatoes perfectly cut through the egg and buttery dairy -- plus that heavenly cheesy crust. Not to mention it's so beautiful! (And finally, I have so had the same conundrum with calling it a quiche v. tart, ha!)