Making this upside-down tomato tart with cheese is so worth it and a recipe you should keep in your arsenal for every tomato season. It takes a little work, but the end result is absolutely divine; flavorful caramelized soft tomatoes on a thin layer of cheese with a crispy puff pastry bottom.
Today, my dishwasher broke down and I needed something that does not involve too many pots and pans; this Upside-down Tomato Tart with Cheese will just do the trick; it’s a variation on a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Unfortunately, a new dishwasher is hard to come by these days – another product that we can add to the list of products that arrive late, due to missing parts. This world is becoming stranger by the day.
Let’s see how you can make this tart. Let’s start with the ingredients:
- Sherry vinegar
- Salt & pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Fresh thyme
- Parmigiano Reggiano and Monterey Jack cheese
- Plum tomatoes
- Pastry dough
Upside-down Tomato Tart with Cheese – Step by Step
First we work on the caramelization and to reach that add sherry vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper to a oven-safe skillet and simmer & swirl until sugar dissolves and it becomes a little thicker, something like a syrup.
Then add the shallot, butter and thyme to the skillet and swirl again until butter is melted and fully incorporated. Take pan off the heat.
Add the tomatoes to the skillet and gently coat the tomatoes. Make sure all tomatoes face, cut side up, next to each other. Push them as tightly together as you can, as they will shrink, and a overlap is OK, but don’t pile them on top of each other. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt & pepper.
Transfer skillet into the oven and cook the tomatoes for about 1 hour. Most of the liquid will be evaporated and the tomatoes will show slightly browned edges. You can smell the aroma of all the sugars that caramelized during this period in the oven; the ‘sugars’ or carbohydrates in the sherry vinegar, sugar, onions, butter and tomatoes.
While the tomatoes cook, prepare the bottom of this Upside-down Tomato Tart with Cheese. Roll the pastry into a circle that is a little bigger than your skillet. Transfer it onto a plate and store it in the fridge until the tomatoes are cooked. When tomatoes are cooked, take the skillet out of the oven (don’t forget your pot holder of you love your hands) and sprinkle the grated cheeses over the tomatoes.
Now transfer the pastry circle from your plate on top of the cheese without padding it down, just try to place in the center. This dough will shrink a little and thus will cover the tomatoes like a hat.
Return the skillet back into the oven and bake the tart for about 15 minutes. It become brown and puffy, make sure it does not burn; once it is brown it’s enough. Remove the skillet from he oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Now the moment of truth; invert the tart onto a plate; it should come out easily. 🙂
Upside-down Tomato Tart with Cheese
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 shallot finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated
- 8 plum tomatoes approx. 2 pounds
- 1 sheet pastry dough
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Allow 1 sheet of pastry dough to thaw on your counter.
- Add vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper to a oven-safe skillet and simmer swirl until sugar dissolves and it becomes a little thicker, something like a syrup.
- Cut the tomatoes in halve, lengthwise and take seeds, the gel and the core out. Try to get rid of as much liquid as possible. No need to peel the tomatoes.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet (NOTE 1) with the vinegar/sugar syrup and gently coat the tomatoes. Make sure all tomatoes face, cut side up, next to each other. Push the as tightly together as you can, as they will shrink, but don't overlap them too much. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt & pepper.
- Transfer skillet to your oven and cook them for about 1 hour. Most or all liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes show slightly browned edges. They are soft, but do not collapse.
- While the tomatoes cook, prepare your pastry bottom.
- Roll the pastry into a circle that is a little bigger than your skillet. Transfer it to a plate and store in the fridge until the tomatoes are cooked.
- Remove the skillet from the oven. Mix the grated cheese and divide the mixture over the tomatoes. Top the cheese with the pastry round and return the skillet into the oven.
- Bake the tart for about 15 minutes or until puffy and brown. Take the skillet out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Place a plate (bottom up) over the skillet and invert the tart onto the plate in one swift move.
- Serve warm or cooled.
- The skillet you use is going into the oven, so select the right one. And have pot holders ready.