We first shared this classic Elephants Delicatessen recipe in the R.S.V.P. Letters to the Editor section of a June 1984 issue of Bon Appétit magazine. We sometimes serve tomato tarts in individual ramekins at our flagship store on NW 22nd, but this larger version is great for serving a group–and the perfect recipe to make when you have a garden full of tomatoes.

Time: 1hr 10mins, 25 minutes hands on
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

Buttermilk pastry

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 1⁄4 cups cold buttermilk

Tomato-basil filling

12 medium fresh tomatoes, diced (about 3 3/4 lbs.)

2 cups fresh basil, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups cheddar cheese, grated

4 cups Swiss cheese, grated

1 1⁄2 cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade

 

Directions

Prepare pastry.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl.
  • Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Gradually mix in buttermilk until dough just comes together.
  • Roll dough out between two sheets of waxed paper to fit a shallow 3-quart baking dish. (You can also use the dough to make individual tomato pies.)
  • Peel off 1 sheet of paper; invert dough into dish.
  • Press dough into bottom and up sides; flute edges.
  • Baked until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. (If center rises, gently press down).
  • Set crust aside; reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

For filling.

  • Mix tomatoes, basil, and salt.
  • Spoon into crust.
  • Blend cheeses and mayonnaise; pat evenly over tomato mixture.
  • Bake until filling is heated through and cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Serve tart immediately.
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