Heirloom tomato & ricotta tart

Recipe by:

The ricotta and pecorino filling of this tart is uncooked, so be sure to assemble the tart close to the time of eating. Best made in late summer or early autumn when the tomatoes are exquisitely sweet. We use buffalo ricotta made in West Cork for this one

Heirloom tomato & ricotta tart

SERVES

8

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

20

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

35

MINUTES

CUISINE

COURSE

Main

Method

  1. First make the pastry. All the ingredients should be cold. Cut the butter into cubes. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Toss the cubes of butter into the flour and then proceed to lift up a few cubes of butter at the time in each hand. Using your thumbs, rub the cubes of butter across the middle three fingers, toward the index fingers.

  2. Allow the flakes of floured butter to drop back into the bowl, then pick up some more and continue until all the butter is rubbed in. As you rub in the butter, hold your hands well above the bowl and run your fingers through the flour to incorporate as much air as possible to keep the mixture cool.

  3. This whole process should only take a minute or two – careful not to rub the butter in too much, or the pastry will be heavy. The pieces should resemble lumpy breadcrumbs. If you are in doubt, shake the bowl and any larger pieces will come to the top. Add salt if using unsalted butter.

  4. Using a fork, toss and stir the pastry as you add just enough water to bind - 2-3 tablespoons should do the trick. If you are in doubt, discard the fork and collect up the pastry with your hand as you will be able to judge more easily by feel if it needs a little more water.

  5. Careful not to make the pastry too wet or it will shrink in the oven. If the pastry is too dry, it will be difficult to roll out.

  6. When the pastry has come together, turn it out onto the work surface and flatten it into a round approx 30cm. Cover with greaseproof paper or clingfilm and, if possible, set aside in the fridge to ‘rest’ for a minimum of 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

  7. The pastry will then be less likely to shrink in the oven.

  8. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

  9. Roll out the pastry to a circle. Lift the pastry over a 23cm tart tin and press down gently around the sides.

  10. Trim around the edges with a sharp knife and prick the base gently with a fork. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.

  11. Transfer the pastry case to the oven and bake ‘blind’ for about 25 minutes until pale and golden. Remove the baking beans and paper. Brush the part-baked pastry case all over with a little beaten egg and pop it back into the oven for 5–10 minutes until pale golden brown all over. Set aside to cool.

  12. To make the filling, combine the ricotta and pecorino in a bowl. Add the double cream, extra virgin olive oil, honey, freshly chopped herbs, grated lemon zest, flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Mix gently together. Taste a little dollop of the filling with a slice of tomato and correct the seasoning, if necessary. It might need a little more honey.

  13. Slice the larger tomatoes and cut the smaller cherry ones in half lengthways or crossways, as you prefer.

  14. Not long before serving, spoon the ricotta filling into the cooked pastry case and arrange the tomatoes on top. I like to arrange the sliced, bigger ones, including the green zebra over the base and top with the smaller cherry tomatoes. Season with flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, a little drizzle of honey (about ½ teaspoon) and lots of thyme and marjoram leaves.

  15. Garnish with a few little basil leaves and serve soon.
    Taken from One Pot Feeds All by Darina Allen. Published by Kyle Books.

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:

  • 50g plain white flour 

  • 75g cold butter

  • a little egg or water, to bind 

  • For the filling:

  • 250g buffalo ricotta

  • 100g Pecorino, grated 

  • 2 tbsp double cream 

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

  • 1 tbsp honey 

  • 2 tbsp chopped basil, thyme and marjoram, plus extra to garnish 

  • zest of ½ organic lemon 

  • flaky sea salt 

  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper 

  • 650g mixed heritage and cherry tomatoes, including striped zebra (green), red and yellow cherry tomatoes, if available 

  • 1 x 23cm tart tin 

Method

  1. First make the pastry. All the ingredients should be cold. Cut the butter into cubes. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Toss the cubes of butter into the flour and then proceed to lift up a few cubes of butter at the time in each hand. Using your thumbs, rub the cubes of butter across the middle three fingers, toward the index fingers.

  2. Allow the flakes of floured butter to drop back into the bowl, then pick up some more and continue until all the butter is rubbed in. As you rub in the butter, hold your hands well above the bowl and run your fingers through the flour to incorporate as much air as possible to keep the mixture cool.

  3. This whole process should only take a minute or two – careful not to rub the butter in too much, or the pastry will be heavy. The pieces should resemble lumpy breadcrumbs. If you are in doubt, shake the bowl and any larger pieces will come to the top. Add salt if using unsalted butter.

  4. Using a fork, toss and stir the pastry as you add just enough water to bind - 2-3 tablespoons should do the trick. If you are in doubt, discard the fork and collect up the pastry with your hand as you will be able to judge more easily by feel if it needs a little more water.

  5. Careful not to make the pastry too wet or it will shrink in the oven. If the pastry is too dry, it will be difficult to roll out.

  6. When the pastry has come together, turn it out onto the work surface and flatten it into a round approx 30cm. Cover with greaseproof paper or clingfilm and, if possible, set aside in the fridge to ‘rest’ for a minimum of 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

  7. The pastry will then be less likely to shrink in the oven.

  8. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

  9. Roll out the pastry to a circle. Lift the pastry over a 23cm tart tin and press down gently around the sides.

  10. Trim around the edges with a sharp knife and prick the base gently with a fork. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.

  11. Transfer the pastry case to the oven and bake ‘blind’ for about 25 minutes until pale and golden. Remove the baking beans and paper. Brush the part-baked pastry case all over with a little beaten egg and pop it back into the oven for 5–10 minutes until pale golden brown all over. Set aside to cool.

  12. To make the filling, combine the ricotta and pecorino in a bowl. Add the double cream, extra virgin olive oil, honey, freshly chopped herbs, grated lemon zest, flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Mix gently together. Taste a little dollop of the filling with a slice of tomato and correct the seasoning, if necessary. It might need a little more honey.

  13. Slice the larger tomatoes and cut the smaller cherry ones in half lengthways or crossways, as you prefer.

  14. Not long before serving, spoon the ricotta filling into the cooked pastry case and arrange the tomatoes on top. I like to arrange the sliced, bigger ones, including the green zebra over the base and top with the smaller cherry tomatoes. Season with flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, a little drizzle of honey (about ½ teaspoon) and lots of thyme and marjoram leaves.

  15. Garnish with a few little basil leaves and serve soon.
    Taken from One Pot Feeds All by Darina Allen. Published by Kyle Books.