Tarts don't have to always be a train wreck for your diet. Last night I was in the mood for a wholesome dinner and decided to dig out my whole wheat and olive oil crust recipe. This rustic crust is a splendid base for this tart filled with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, fresh thyme and topped with flavorful heirloom tomatoes (pictured above before going into the oven). The sweet onions and tomatoes are a perfect balance to the earthy crust. My extremely skeptical family fervently ate every crumb!
Last month I was featured in the "food section" of our local news paper and this whole wheat crust was one of the recipes that they published (That's "pain au chocolat" that they are referring to, not "pan"). I just realized that I hadn't shared this awesome crust recipe with my readers yet...
Heirloom tomatoes are ultra hip and current right now even though the word "heirloom" implies they have been around for ages. After some digging, I came to realize that the word "heirloom" can mean many different things depending on how it is used. For example, "family heirlooms" are simply seeds that have been passed down for several generations within a family while "commercial heirloom" means an open pollinated variety of tomato introduced before 1940 or a variety that has been around 50 years or more.
I'm all about this simple dough recipe because I can quickly pull it together by hand with no food processor clean up. That's huge.
Heirloom tomato tart
1 recipe whole wheat and olive oil pastry crust (see below)
2 large sweet onions - thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt (for the onions)
4 ounces gruyère cheese - grated
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (for the custard)
3 heirloom tomatoes - sliced about 1/2 inch thick
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions, thyme (reserving a teaspoon to sprinkle on top later), and salt. Caramelize the onions for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally to keep the onions from sticking to the bottom.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, milk, and salt.
Place the caramelized onions in the pre-baked whole wheat tart crust. Pour the custard over the top, being careful not to overflow and allowing room for the tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the onions. Arrange the tomatoes on top in a lovely pattern. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some fresh thyme. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
Whole wheat and olive oil pastry crust
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and combine. Add water and combine just until the water in absorbed. With one ridiculously clean hand gently kneed the dough just until it comes together. Form into a ball.
Place the dough ball on a floured work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Roll out into a 12"circle. Sprinkle flour on dough as needed so that it doesn't stick. Use firm quick movements when rolling out so as not to overwork the dough. Transfer the dough to your 10" tart pan and gently fit it in. Trim the excess. Press a piece of foil (12 by 13 inches) into the edges of the shell and cover with foil completely touching and covering the entire shell. Chill for at least 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill the tart shell with pie weights or dried beans (the foil is still on). Bake for 20 minutes and then remove pie weights and foil and bake for about 5 more minutes. The shell is ready to fill. This recipe makes dough for one 10" or 11" tart pan.
I'd love to hear from you! If you'd like to comment on the heirloom tomato tart or have any suggestions from your experiences, please click here.