I love this pastry for savoury preparations that are baked in tins as opposed to free-form galettes, which require a sturdier dough. This recipe is inspired by my friend Martin Boetz. He made a version of this, without tomato, at a lunch we were cooking at. He told me it was his grandmother’s recipe, and it just has that feel about it – it’s old fashioned and I love it.
The pastry for this tart incorporates both butter and sour cream and it just makes the easiest, most delicious, delicate, ﬂaky, buttery tart you have ever tasted.
- leafy salad, to serve
- 250 g (9 oz/1“ cups) plain (all-purpose) ﬂour, plus extra for dusting
- 150 g (5½ oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
- ½ tsp salt
- 125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) sour cream
- 1 egg
- 300 g (10½ oz) large heirloom tomatoes (approx. 1–2)
- 400 g (14 oz) white onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp chopped thyme
- 50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter
- 100 g (3½ oz) sour cream
- 100 g (3½ oz) grated cheddar cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) ﬂour
- 2 tbsp cream
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 1 hour
1. Start by making your pastry. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ﬂour, butter and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles ﬁne crumbs. Add the sour cream and egg and pulse a few more times until the pastry comes together in a ball. Shape this into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
3. Remove the pastry from the fridge, dust with ﬂour and roll out to a 2–3 mm (¾ in) thickness. Try to keep as round as possible. Gently lift this into the base of a 23–25 cm (9–10 in) pie dish or tart tin. You want to leave 1–2 cm (½–¾ in) of excess pastry hanging over the edge to allow for shrinkage as it bakes. Use scissors to trim off any wider bits.
4. Press a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and ﬁll with baking weights or uncooked rice or beans to prevent the pastry rising up as it cooks. Place the dish on a tray and bake for 20–30 minutes. When the crust is looking golden on the edges, remove the baking weights and continue baking for a further 15–20 minutes. If the crust looks like it’s rising up, poke a few holes in it with a fork to allow steam to escape. When golden all over, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. This step could be done in advance. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (320°F), ready to bake the pie.
5. Peel your tomatoes by cutting a small 'X' on their base, dropping them into boiling water for 10–20 seconds, then immediately refreshing in iced water. The skin should now peel off easily, starting from the 'X'. Cut into 5 mm (¼ in) slices. Set aside.
6. In a sauté pan, sauté your onions and thyme in the butter until completely soft and translucent but not coloured. Season with salt and black pepper and set aside to cool. Once cool, mix with the sour cream, cheddar, eggs and ﬂour. Pour the mixture into the base of the tart shell, then layer the sliced tomatoes over the top. Finally, sprinkle with the cream and parmesan and place on a tray. Bake for 40–60 minutes, or until the tart is no longer wobbly and is completely set. If the crust is browning too much, wrap the edge in foil to allow the custard to continue cooking.
7. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature with a leafy salad.
Images and text from Always Add Lemon by Danielle Alvarez. Photography by Benito Martin. Hardie Grant RRP $50.00