I recently began thinking about converting my traditional Southern-style Fresh Tomato Pie into a bit lighter and a bit simpler Fresh Tomato Tart. Here’s what I came up with…
*You may alternatively stack two 10-by-10-inch Pepperidge Farm pastry sheets on top of each other and roll these out to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle.
- 1 pound heirloom tomatoes (various sizes and colors if possible)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
- 3 ounce grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 scallions (white and light green parts finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- freshly cracked back pepper (as needed for seasoning)
- 1 (14-oz) package all-butter puff pastry *(thawed in the refrigerator if frozen)
- dill sprigs (for serving, optional)
Cut the tomatoes into ⅓ to ½-inch thick slices. Arrange tomatoes slices on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with a thick layer of paper towels. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and top with another layer of paper towels. Let the tomatoes stand at least 10 minutes so that the paper towels absorb the excess juices and the tomato liquid doesn’t seep out while baking and make the crust soggy.
In a medium bowl stir together cheese, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, scallions, chopped dill, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and season with a big pinch each of salt and black pepper. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry to about a 10-by-15-inch rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick. Lay the rolled puff pastry sheet on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Chill at least 20 minutes before proceeding.
Meanwhile, set the oven rack in the lowest position. If you have one place a pizza stone on the rack and preheat oven to 425°F.
Once the pastry has chilled spread cheese mixture evenly over top, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Discard the wet paper towels covering the tomatoes then pat the tomatoes dry with fresh paper towels. Lay the drained and dried sliced tomatoes in a slightly overlapping single layer on top of the cheese mixture, maintaining the border. Use the prettiest slices you may not need them all. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes; let cool at least 5 minutes before sliding the tart onto a serving plate. Top with dill sprigs (if using) before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.