Have you ever wanted to make something with puffed pastry, but you weren’t sure how to use it? Have no fear! Our friend Shuchi sent us this gorgeous recipe for her Tomato Pastry Tart inspired by our Sangria® Medley Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomatoes along with some tips and tricks on how to get a perfect tomato tart every single time you make it. And trust us, after one bite, you’ll want to make it often!
Preparing to Use Puff Pastry
The first thing you need to know about puff pastry is that you don’t have to start from scratch with the dough. Store bought dough is definitely the way to go when you are pressed for time, and you want to get something on the table quickly. That being said, it is typically sold frozen, and you will need to factor in time for it to thaw before you attempt any recipe. Don’t try to manipulate puff pastry dough that isn’t completely thawed; unfolding it while it’s still frozen could tear the sheet. Thawing times will vary. You want the pastry to unfold easily, but still be cold. Cold puff pastry is the easiest to work with and it has other benefits that we will touch upon later. You have two options: thawing at room temperature or thawing in the fridge. If you know that you will be using your puff pastry tomorrow, pop it in the fridge tonight so that it is ready to go for your recipe!
Handling Puff Pastry
Heat is the enemy of puff pastry when it comes to handling it. Avoid working with it if your kitchen is hot and humid. Your hands should be cold as well. Run them under cold water or squeeze an ice pack to cool them off. You may need to do this many times as you are working. In order to keep the puff pastry from getting too warm as you are working with it, use only your fingertips, or a chilled rolling pin. Using a marble pastry board is the best way to keep the puff pastry cool while rolling it, but a cool, well-floured countertop is fine, just keep an eye on how quickly the pastry is warming up. If you put some parchment paper down, you can easily transfer the pastry to the fridge to cool off if necessary.
Baking Tips for Puff Pastry
Always have your oven preheated for a minimum of 15 minutes before you put your pastry in. Puff pastry depends on even heat to make it rise and puff. Once your crust and fillings are together, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before baking. This will make sure that the dough retains its shape while it cooks. Keeping the crust in the fridge for a while will make sure that the butter in it is firm. When this firm dough goes into a hot oven, it is the quick melting of the butter that makes the crust crispy and flaky!
Shuchi’s Tomato Pastry Tart
For this recipe, you are going to work with the pastry first and pop it back into the fridge to get cold again before you preheat the oven and put the toppings on. This will ensure that the puff pastry is cold when it goes into the oven to bake guaranteeing that you will have a light and crispy crust. Unfold pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Depending on which brand of puff pastry you buy, you may need to roll it into a rectangle with a chilled rolling pin. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in the fridge while you prepare your tomatoes!
Shuchi used our Sangria® Medley Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomatoes for this recipe. The medley blend was developed for you to be able to experience all of these exciting tomatoes in a convenient pack. It’s a blend of different colored tomatoes with a variety of colors, textures and flavors. Each color of tomato in the Sangria® Medley has a different health benefit:
- The red and orange tomatoes are high in lycopene.
- The yellow tomatoes are high in iron and zinc.
- The darker tomatoes have higher antioxidant properties.
- The green tomatoes are higher in Vitamin K and calcium.
All of that healthy goodness is in one package of colorful tomatoes! Some of the tomatoes in the Sangria® Medley are also known as “mini heirloom” tomatoes, so of course they complement our full-size Heirloom Tomatoes wonderfully. The bold, eye-catching colors and shapes of our Heirloom Tomatoes have flavor profiles that vary from sweet to tangy, earthy and juicy. The seeds are what makes them a true heirloom. They are passed down from season to season, taken only from the plants that produced the best fruit. There are over 150 different varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes and just like the Sangria® Medley, the rainbow of colors indicates their diversity of health benefits.
It is now time to preheat your oven to 400° F.
Clean the Heirloom Tomatoes and Sangria® Medley, then cut them into slices. Slice the Heirlooms like you would a Beefsteak Tomato or Tomatoes On-The-Vine if you were putting them on a sandwich or burger. You can slice the Sangria® Medley Tomatoes in half and set all the tomato slices on paper towel to absorb the excess moisture from them. Turn all the tomatoes over after 5 minutes so the other side has a chance to dry a bit. By doing this, you will prevent the tomato tart from becoming soggy and wet.
Take your mozzarella cheese ball and slice it into thin slices to match the Heirloom Tomatoes. Then chop your basil leaves and put them in a bowl with your tomato sauce, olive oil and crushed garlic. Mix the ingredients together.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and prick it all over with a fork. For a puffier edge, you can just prick the inside of the dough and leave a border of untouched crust. Add the sauce to the crust, spreading it out, but leaving the edge untouched. Arrange tomato and cheese slices evenly across the pastry. Season the entire tart with salt and pepper. Place it in the preheated oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and flaky. Remove the tart from the baking sheet and carefully transfer it to a wire rack. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then garnish with basil and cut into slices.
Puff pastry is best served fresh, so while you can make this recipe ahead of time, do not bake it until you’re ready to serve!
To get the full recipe, click here.
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