Recipe: the best tomato tart ever!

Sharon Hanna shares a recipe for Tomato Tart (or Cobbler!) from the Slow Food Picnic.

Credit: iStock / LeggNet

Sharon Hanna shares a tomato recipe for a nontraditional, though wildly successful, potluck dish

Oops. I meant Cobbler! This was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life, shared with other attendees at the Slow Food Picnic at Kits Beach last August. Yes, it does have rather a lot of steps in it, but it’s worth it. You can make it without a food processor, BTW.

Here’s the tomato tart recipe – I need to credit it to both Martha Stewart (who may or may not have ever actually made the cobbler) AND most especially to Jennifer Yong who actually made it and brought it to the potluck picnic. The taste defies description. It was absolutely brilliant.

Tomato Cobbler

Part 1 of 2-part post, adapted (see?) from Martha Stewart.
For a 9 1/2” or 10” deep pie dish (but other pans may be substituted), food processor (optional).

Pastry Ingredients:

(makes enough for 2×10” cobblers. Remaining dough may be frozen up to 1 month. This is a good idea, as you will most definitely want to repeat this recipe!)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (Swiss or old cheddar would also be good)
1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/4 cup ice water

Filling Ingredients for ONE cobbler:

1 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds assorted cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
1/2 cup chopped basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
11/2 tsp sugar

Optional Finishes:

(either or both)
1 large egg + 1 tsp water (for glazing)
1/4 cup cheese (for sprinkling)

Cooking Directions:

If using a food processor to make pastry, combine first 4 ingredients in the processor. Add the butter, process only until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water gradually through the feed tube. Pulse only until the dough holds together (should neither be crumbly nor wet or sticky)—no more than 30 seconds.

If making pastry by hand, mix first 4 ingredients. Cut in the butter with knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water gradually, mixing after each addition with a fork or spatula. Add water only until the dough holds together.

Knead gently by hand a few times to give the dough a final mix. Divide it into two equal balls. Flatten each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Transfer to refrigerator; chill 1 hour.
Saute the onion and garlic with 1 tbsp butter/olive oil over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until softened. Take it off the heat to allow it to cool slightly. Toss the tomatoes with the remaining filling ingredients and add in the onion mixture when it has cooled. Transfer the filling to the pie dish.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out one pastry disk into a circle 2.5 cm (1 in.) larger than pie dish. Transfer rolled dough to top of dish; tuck in edges to seal. Make three to four small slits in crust; form a decorative edge if desired.

Optional: In a small bowl, mix egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush egg glaze over crust; and/or sprinkle crust with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place pie dish on a baking sheet to catch drips; bake until crust is golden and insides are bubbling, about 50 minutes.

Very important: Let cobbler cool before serving to allow the juices to collect!

This recipe is easily adapted to larger/non-circular baking dishes (i.e., 8 in. square, 9×13 in. cake pan) to feed a crowd—just add more filling!

To duplicate the experience of the Slow Food Picnic, bring the cobbler to the far north-east side of Kits beach, north of the basketball courts, to the grassy area with a slight slope, just before the path turns east towards the Maritime Museum. There’s picnic tables too! Do this on a lovely warm night when the Morris Dancers are practicing with their tubas and hankies – you won’t believe it. Your friends can bring other tomato dishes….so late August is perfect for this.

Check out more luscious tomato recipes from the Slow Food picnic.

Do you have a recipe to share? Use the comment form below to share your favourite tomato recipes or leave Sharon your feedback!