Hey, remember just a few months ago when you saw the first tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market and you were so excited because you hadn’t had any for six months? How you paid $6 a pound for them? And you made the perfect tomato sandwich to celebrate?
Hey, it’s August now and I’ve harvested about 73 bushels of tomatoes. I will gag if I have another tomato sandwich. A caprese salad no longer holds any allure for me. I would can them but I’m afraid I’ll poison myself.
So the best alternative is to roast them, pack them in a little olive oil and freeze them. In November, I will feel so virtuous. I’ll pop them into sauces and stews and marvel at my ingenuity.
And, for now, I will make them into a pie. A tart, actually, because I have a tart pan and it gives the perfect ratio of crust to filling. You are going to read this recipe and say to yourself, “I will never, ever do this because there are too many steps.” I know. Calm down.
First off, roast the tomatoes ahead of time. You can either freeze them or just leave them in the fridge for a week or more. Second, if you don’t want to make your own pie crust (but you should – I know you’re afraid, but just try), you can buy a store bought crust. If you make your own, do that ahead, too, and just pop it in the fridge for a day or two. My crust recipe comes directly from Crisco and it’s a no-fail. Promise.
And you will undoubtedly notice that this recipe calls for nine strips of bacon. Get a hold of yourself. Just have a smaller piece of tart. It’s worth the calories and you’ll feel so happy with a healthy injection of pig. You can serve this tart warm or at room temperature. It’s even tasty right out of the fridge at one in the morning.
Roasted tomato and bacon tart
For the tomatoes:
6 medium tomatoes
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half, cutting off the tops and bottoms so the tomatoes sit flat in a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
Roast for 3-4 hours until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown.
For the crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick well-chilled Crisco baking stick
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
Blend the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the Crisco into 1/2 –inch cubes and add to the bowl. Pulse until the Crisco is approximately the size of peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse four or five times. If there is still unincorporated flour, add water a tablespoon at a time until you can pinch the dough and it holds together.
Form into a disk on plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
To roll out, place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the disk and roll the dough until it is large enough to fit in the tart pan with the dough slightly overlapping the top of the pan.
Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated
9 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
Paint the bottom of the crust with the mustard. Top with cheese and make a single layer with the bacon. Top with roasted tomatoes.
Whisk together the cream, milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes until it reaches ¾ of the way up the crust (you will probably have more mixture than you need).
Bake the tart at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.