At the end of summer, when the larger slicing tomatoes are beginning to fade, I still seem to find small varieties of cherry and grape tomatoes hanging around the farmers market. Not, perhaps, at their peak, but still a taste of bright summer sun. They are perfect when kissed by heat from the oven to concentrate their flavor, so I find them marvelous for sauces or for tarts, like this unique iteration. The filling is a savory riff on the classic almond frangipane used in fruit tarts, only without the sugar and a nice hit of fresh herbs and flavorful parmesan cheese. The presentation is lovely, and the flavor combination is always a surprising hit. The almond is there, but it is not overwhelming when combined with the other flavors.
I use a ready-rolled premade crust to make this a summer easy dish, but feel free to make your own pastry. I love the Italianate hit of oregano, but any leafy herb will work, like basil or marjoram. I love the impact of a red, yellow and even orange tomatoes of varying shapes. Get creative! Just us ones that are on the smaller side, so they soften while the filling cooks. They should hold their shape but burst with each bite.
Savory Tomato Frangipane Tart
1 pastry crust to fit a 9-inch tart pan
7 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic, put through a press or very finely minced
2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pints small tomatoes, cherry or grape
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Fit the pastry into the tart tin and poke all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with ceramic pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Put the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat to break it up. Add the garlic and beat, then the eggs one at a time with a Tablespoon of flour after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add any remaining flour, almond flour, parmesan cheese, oregano and salt and beat until smooth. Spread the frangipane over the cooled crust, making sure it reaches the edges in an even layer. Arrange the tomatoes in a decorative pattern on top of the filling, pressing down slightly. Lightly sprinkle the top with salt and place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set and golden and the tomatoes are softened. Turn on the broiler and brown the top of the tart for 3-4 minutes, just until the tomatoes begin to brown slightly and a few collapse. Serve the tart warm.