I have been going on about my tomatoes….But when the harvest is going good, one needs to use them as much as possible. In cooking. And also in gifting. I have been doing both. The other day, I made a batch of paste from a kilogram of the ripest ones. The paste is adding so much flavour to my curries that I am glad I made a batch.
But since I hadn’t used them in baking, I decided to use a few ripe ones! And this was born! I have always loved making these free-form rustic tarts. I usually use from left-over pastry dough for galettes. But today I made fresh pastry using all-purpose as well as finger millet (ragi) flour.
Ingredients for the pastry:
- 55 grams cold butter
- 75 grams all-purpose flour
- 50 grams ragi (finger millet) flour
- 1 egg (cold)
- Cold water in case you need to sprinkle on the dough
Beat the egg and set aside. Place the two different kinds of flour in a bowl. Mix well. Using a box grater, grate the butter on the bowl. Rub the butter into the flour till the mixture is crumbly. Add the beaten egg and bring the dough together. At this point, you might need to sprinkle some of the chilled water. As soon as the dough comes together, shape it into a disc, flatten it, wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.
Take it out of the fridge. Dust your worktop with flour. Take out a portion that you need for the galette and roll out into a circle. Mine was about 9 inches in diametre. Place the circle on parchment paper and let it rest in the fridge as you prepare the filling.
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 6 tomatoes cut in circles
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used Cheddar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk for brushing the pastry
- Herbs to sprinkle on top after the tart is done
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions. Add the garlic and continue to cook till the onions turn pale and translucent. Remove and set aside.
Takeout as many seeds from the tomato discs by gently giving each disc a little shake. I used six tomatoes as the size was small. With larger tomatoes, you’ll need fewer.
Take out the pastry circle from the fridge. If it is stiff, wait for it to become pliable. Place the fried onions and garlic on the base. Remember to keep an inch of the outer pastry edge free so that you can fold it. Then layer the tart with the tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
Then sprinkle the grated cheese on top. If you like, you could top that up with chopped chives or spring onions.
Fold the border of the pastry inwards so that the filling stays intact. You could make little pleats in between to make it more secure. I also used cut-outs in the form of leaves and pasted them at every pleat. Brush the edges with egg wash. Bake in a preheated 180 C oven for about 30 minutes.
After it cools down a bit, you can use herbs of your choice to decorate. I used a sprig of basil flowers and a few leaves on mine.