These tarts use an easy rough-puff pastry, which creates lovely crisp layers. You can make them in tart tins, or do a rustic version, folding the pastry over the filling.
- 300 g cherry tomatoes (red and yellow, if possible)
- few fresh thyme sprigs
- small handful of oregano, roughly chopped
- 3 tsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- Salad leaves, fresh herbs and edible flowers, to serve
- 250 g plain flour
- 170 g very cold, butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- 3 tsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) ice cold water
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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.
Pastry resting time: 30 minutes
1. First make the pastry: place the flour and butter in a bowl and using a butter knife, cut the butter into the flour until you have a rough pebble mixture.
2. Whisk together the egg with the balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Add this to the butter and flour and using two forks gently toss through until the dough begins to come together. Add a little cold water to bring the dough to a rough ball. Turn the pastry out on to parchment paper or cling film, parcel up and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
3. While the pastry is resting, preheat the oven the 190°C. Slice the tomatoes in half and place in a bowl. Toss with a little olive oil, thyme and oregano and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop.
4. When the pastry has rested, cut the pastry into quarters and roll each piece out on a clean well floured work surface using a rolling pin, until you have a round which will fit a 10cm tartlet tin with a removable base and is about 5 mm in thickness (or see note, if you don’t have tartlet tins). Transfer the pastry to the tartlet tin and cut off any loose edges. Repeat until you have 4 pastry lined tartlet tins in total. Prick the pastry bases with a fork and then spread with ricotta cheese.
4. Place the tomatoes on top and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced in size by half, slightly charred and the pastry cases have turned a nutty brown. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the tomato tartlets. Arrange on plates with salad to serve.
• Don't have a tart tin? Simply fold the edges of your pastry in on itself forming a collar holding in all your ingredients, then bake on a baking tray! You can do this as individual rustic tartlets, or as one large tart.