When summer reaches its zenith and boxes of cherry tomatoes form a sea of red and yellow and deep maroon on the farmers’ market tables, this tart is where my mind goes. Roasting cherry tomatoes is a smart summer technique, tripling the tomatoes’ sweetness while the color stays true. My advice? Double the tomatoes you roast because you will snack. This pretty tart is ideal for a summer supper with steamed corn on the cob and grilled peaches. Be aware—the onion and cheese pie dough browns quickly. Once the pie is under the broiler, you may want to cover the edges in foil—and watch it like a hawk—to avoid burning.
- 1 recipe Caramelized Onion and Cheese Pie Dough (recipe below), formed into a disk
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cool water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt)
- 1 pint plump cherry tomatoes, anywhere from 15 to 30, depending on size
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (120 g) fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (56 g) shredded fresh mozzarella
- 1 ounce (28 g) crumbled Gorgonzola
- 3 ounces (85 g) sliced provolone (about 6 slices)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly dust the counter with flour and roll the dough into a scant 12-inch round. Trim and tidy the dough to a 10-inch round using a paring knife, pizza wheel, or decorative pastry wheel. Lift the dough using a bench scraper or offset spatula, roll it around the pin or fold it lightly, and briskly transfer it to the baking sheet; be brave and adjust the shape as needed after moving. Turn about 1/2 inch of the outside edge toward the center of the dough round to make a slightly raised border. This is the simplest decorative edge; if you want something fancier, refer to the other tarts in this chapter.
Pierce the center of the dough all over with a fork or docking tool. Brush the edges with egg wash. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Place a Baking Steel, baking stone, or inverted baking sheet on the center rack and heat the oven to 375˚F. Cut a piece of foil or parchment paper slightly larger than the size of the dough and spray one side with cooking spray. Place it on top of the unbaked crust with the sprayed side facing down. Make sure there is enough paper overhanging the edges of the dough for easy lifting later. Fill generously with pie weights, uncooked beans, raw rice, pennies, or granulated sugar, keeping the decorated edges free of the weights.
Bake with the weights for 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on the edges.
Carefully remove the paper holding the weights and pop the pastry back in the oven to dry out the crust, about 10 more minutes.
Cool the crust in the pan on a rack. It may be baked a few hours, or even a day, in advance and kept covered on the counter, awaiting filling. Do not refrigerate.
Increase the oven temperature to 425˚F. Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the oil and spread them out on an unlined baking sheet. Nestle the rosemary and garlic cloves around the tomatoes and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and . teaspoon salt. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have started to collapse. Remove and discard the rosemary and garlic and cool the tomatoes completely. The tomatoes may be roasted up to 3 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.
Place a rack in the uppermost part of the oven and heat to broil. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, chop the basil and remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil and . teaspoon salt until a smooth paste is formed. Avoiding the edges, use an offset spatula to spread half of the basil paste across the tart (reserve the other half for sandwiches or spooning over grilled or roasted vegetables). Scatter the mozzarella and Gorgonzola across the base. Layer the provolone slices on top of the cheeses.
If necessary, use a slotted spoon to lift the tomatoes from the oil and scatter them across the tart. (Reserve the oil to brush on vegetables, poultry, meat, or fish before roasting.) Sprinkle the tomatoes with Parmigiano Reggiano. Slide the pie under the broiler and broil until the cheeses are starting to brown and everything is bubbly, 4 to 6 minutes.
Cool the tart briefly before serving to let the cheese firm up a bit; it will be easier to slice.
CARAMELIZED ONION AND CHEESE PIE DOUGH
Makes 1 recipe pie dough
Plan some time to make this dough as the onion butter needs to chill hard. It’s a super savory flavor to wrap around almost any meaty filling. Flour the board and rolling pin generously; this is a sticky dough and it warms quickly. The dough will bake more quickly than all-butter and shortening doughs, so if you choose to swap it into another recipe, keep your eye on the oven and watch for visual cues like over-browning, and tent with foil, if needed.
- 2 ounces (56 g) extra sharp cheddar cheese (preferably orange), cold
- 1⅓ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 recipe Onion Butter (recipe follows), cubed and chilled
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
Roughly chop the cheese into pea-sized pieces, about . cup packed.
Place the work bowl of the food processor on the scale, set the scale to zero, and weigh the flour into the bowl. Weigh in the onion butter and cheese. Finally, add the salt. Move the bowl to the food processor base, insert the metal blade, cover, and use the Pulse function to cut the flour, butter, and cheese into flour-covered pea-sized pieces, about 15 quick pulses. Add the ice water all at once and process until the dough almost comes together in a ball. All the flour will be dampened and the dough will clump.
Spend time on this next step because the more compact and precise the dough, the easier it is to roll to the correct size and thickness. Form an X with two long pieces of overlapping plastic wrap and lightly flour the surface. Dump the dough onto the center of the plastic wrap, scraping the processor bowl clean. Wrap the sloppy gathering of dough in the plastic and, at the same time, use a bench scraper (not your warm hands that might melt the butter clumps) to form the dough into a 4-inch disk or a 3-1/2- by 3-1/2 -inch block.
Once wrapped, use a rolling pin to gently press across the surface of the dough, then flip it over and do the same on the other side. Now let it rest: Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Alternatively, slip the plastic-wrapped dough block into a ziptop bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost gently, overnight in the refrigerator.
by Cathy Barrow
WHEN PIES FLY guides the rolling pin novice and the experienced dough wrangler to dozens of shapes and styles of crusty, flaky, delicious treats. Barrow's well-tested, foolproof crust recipes means pie-making is fun, not scary, and her step-by-step techniques makes turning out a free-form pie practically foolproof.
WHEN PIES FLY includes many types of pastries (both homemade and store-bought), ready for the lunchbox, the dinner table, road trips, and picnics. These handy crusty offerings go from freezer to oven, and will win over everyone at the table. No one will be able to resist Sesame Chicken Hand Pies, Savory Nectarine Marscapone Tarts, Pork Pastor Empanadas, Spiced Apple Strudels, and much more. The perfect mix of nostalgic favorites and new pastry creations, WHEN PIES FLY is a wonderful dive into the world of pies in all of their forms.