This tart is delicious, almost shockingly good. I made one large tart, and then we ate it for four days, and I could make another one right now and be very happy to eat it again. The star of the dish is really the Mountain Magic tomatoes – they are beautiful, plump, juicy, and flavor packed. About the size of a large cherry tomato they are perfect for roasting, they keep their moisture and gain a lovely rich and sweet flavor after about an hour in the oven. These tomatoes when combined with roasted zucchini, zeypher squash, eggplant, a flakey sour cream pie dough, and held together with melty gruyere cheese make a total knock out of a dish. This is something that, like us, you could eat as a side for a few days or serve it with a green salad for a lunch entree. If you aren’t as selfish, share the love and give this tart as a gift or bring it as offering to the next party you attend – it will not disappoint.
To start off you want to make the tart dough – I saw this recipe when it was tweeted by Evan Kleiman, host of Good Food on KCRW – the recipe comes from that blog (link in the blog roll section of this site) but it was reprinted by them from a book called United States of Pie, written by Adrienne Kane. The recipe from Good Food’s blog describes steps for making this dough by hand, however I use a food processor because not only it is cleaner and easier, but also because when working with pie dough it is so important that everything stays at a cool temperature. So the food processor is fast, in this summer heat, it ensures that I won’t be over working the dough and turning the would be flaky tart crust into inedible, chewy mess. I also reduced the amount of sugar to just one teaspoon, as this dough is being used for a savory application. This dough makes enough for two tarts, but the rest of the recipe is measured for one tart. The remaining dough can be frozen for later use up to one month, it would be great for quiche or pot pie… or go ahead and make two of these tarts, really – it’s that good.
Start with your dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Then measure out and cut the cold butter into small cubes, the shortening can be cut up right before it goes into the dry ingredients, and the sour cream can go in as is. Keep a bowl of ice water on hand with measuring spoons to add just the right amount of cold water.
Give the dry ingredients a quick pulse then add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is broken down into small pebbles and coated with flour. Add the shortening in small chunks and pulse again, until it is incorporated as well. The dough will still look very dusty, so don’t over do it, just enough to break up the fat and mix it with the flour. This picture shows the dry ingredients mixed with butter and vegetable shortening.
Then add the sour cream and pulse another couple times until it is just incorporated, the dough will still be dusty, so don’t stress if it looks more like crumble than dough. Once the water is added it will be smooth and soft. Below is a picture of the dough with all of the fat, and sour cream added to the dry ingredietns.
Now while the food processor is running, add the ice water 1/2 – 1 tablespoon at a time. I used 2 tablespoons the day I made this dough, you may need more or less. What is important is mix in only enough water to bring the dough together, and use as little water as possible. Below is a picture of the finished dough in the food processor.
Once the dough is done, weigh it and divide into two equal pieces. Form the divided dough into two disks then wrap tightly with saran wrap and let it rest at least an hour, or up to 48 hours. When the dough has rested unwrap it and lay it on a lightly foured work space to be rolled out.
I used a 12 inch fluted tart dish, but any pie dish would work. Make sure you butter the dish lightly so the dough won’t stick. When rolling it start from the center and roll away from you, turning the dough as needed to make an even slab of dough, about 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick. The dough should be at least an inch wider around than the pie dish is, so that there is enough dough to go up the sides of the dish and to hang over the edge slightly. Press the dough into the pie dish, and trim any extreme excess.
The dough will need to rest again before being blind baked. Preheat your oven to 425°. Lightly butter one side of a large pice of foil, and lay this foil over the tart dough, the fill the dough with pie weights, dried beans, or rice so that it is weighted down. Chill the dough for 30 minutes before placing in the hot oven. The foil should also lightly cover the crust, so that it doesn’t become too brown. You may need to layer two pieces of foil if your foil isn’t very wide. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes then remove it when the dough seems to be firm to the touch, and evenly baked.
Allow the crust to cool slightly, then follow the directions for assembling the tart (which can be found at the end of this post).
While the dough is chilling roast your tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and eggplant. Then make the sauté leek mixture and set everything aside to cool while the dough is blind baking.
For the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 350° then cut each one in half. Toss tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped rosmary and thyme, as well as salt and pepper.
Lay these tomatoes sliced side up on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Roast for 45 minutes to an hour and remove the pan from the oven once the tomatoes are somewhat soft and slightly shriveled. They will still maintain their shape and some moisture.
Peel the eggplant and cut into disks about 1/4″ thick, then cut the zucchini and squash into 1/4″ thick disks, on a bias.
Toss the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast both on sheet pans with a rack, the eggplant will probably take a little longer than the squash/zucchini – about 15 minutes for the squash and maybe 30 for the eggplant, so it is a good idea to keep them separate. The vegetables should be soft and slightly brown.
Once all of the vegetables are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool, they can stay on the sheet pans until ready to assemble.
The leeks, sautéed in butter and reduced in cream, add a really sweet and rich texture to this tart. Start by removing the very top of the leeks and the hairy root end, then cut them in half then slicing them in half length wise. At this point the leeks with be in half and you can see inside the layers, rinse the leeks to remove any dirt hidden in these layers by allowing the water to run through the leek. Each half of leek can be cut into long strands, then those long strands cut down into small pieces.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the leeks, cook until they are soft and most of the butter is absorbed.
Then add the cream, and let them cook over medium-low heat until very soft and creamy – maybe 15 minutes.
Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool slightly.
To assemble the tart, you need the blind baked dough, the leeks, the roasted vegetables and tomatoes, grated gruyere, and finely chopped rosemary and thyme. In the baked pie shell spread the leek mixture over the shell, then start layering the eggplant and zucchini/squash. Add a layer of cheese, between the eggplant and the zucchini/squash.
Add another layer of the cheese to top, then bake in 350° oven until the cheese is melty, the crust is golden brown and the tart is heated through, about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the completed tart from the oven and let cool to room temperature before slicing. I swear, it only gets better over the next few days, and it is easier to cut once cooled, then can be reheated in a toaster oven so the tart dough stays crispy.