This goat's cheese and tomato tart is fragrant with fresh basil, sumac and and tarragon.
- large roma or egg tomatoes
- 2 tsp sumac
- 2 tsp Maldon sea saltground pepper
- 4 tsp sugar
- 20 basil leaves
- 50 tarragon leaves (substitute chervil or flat-leaf parsley)
- 4 red onions, very finely sliced
- 100 ml virgin olive oil
- 200 g creamy feta or firm goat's cheese
- 50 fresh french tarragon leaves (substitute chervil or flat-leaf parsley)
- 120 g plain flour
- 100 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 60 g thick sour cream
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 1½ hours
Preparation may be started several days ahead. The semi-dried tomatoes, the pastry and the caramelised onions can be finished and kept in the refrigerator, separately wrapped with cling film.
For the tomatoes
Split the tomatoes lengthwise and place skin side down, in a single layer on a baking slide lined with baking paper. Evenly scatter the sumac, salt flakes, pepper and sugar over the cut surface.
Place in a low (120°C) oven for about 4 hours, until the tomatoes have dried a little and have lightly caramelised. They should look like very plump apricots.
For the onions
Combine finely sliced onions and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until well caramelised and much reduced in volume. Strain through a sieve and reserve the olive oil for your vinaigrette.
For the pastry
Combine flour, cubed butter and sour cream in a food processor and pulse only just until the mixture knots into a ball around the blade. Pat into a flat circular disk. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate at least one hour before rolling.
Note that this is a very rich shortcrust pastry. In warm conditions you may wish to add a little more flour.
To assemble the tart
Line the base of a 28 cm non-stick circular mould (or cast-iron skillet), 4 cm deep, with baking paper. Place the tomatoes, flesh side down, into tight concentric circles in the base of the mould. Finely shred the basil and scatter, wit the tarragon leaves, over the tomatoes. Distribute the drained onions sparingly over the tomatoes. Cover with fine slices of cheese.
Roll the pastry 2 cm wider than the mould. Place pastry on top of mould. Trim the edge with scissors and tuck into the sides of the mould so you form a "lip" around the tomatoes. Return to the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in a 220°C oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Invert tarte onto a large flat plate and serve within 30 minutes.