Day 6 – Brie and Tomato Tart
In my case, plans were made to attend the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a concert at the Myer Music Bowl. In eighteen months of living here, I have not been to the Bowl, a fact duly noted by the friend who suggested I might like to go. Plans were made, rugs and cushions were corralled, a picnic was prepared.
And then the weather ramped up. After 45 minutes of sitting in stultifying humidity and oppressive heat, we abandoned our plans. Never mind, my friend observed, there was always another concert we could go to later in the week. We ate the picnic in air-conditioned comfort instead.
Three days later and I prepared another picnic in remarkably different conditions. To begin, the weather was balmy and gentle. However it was now midweek and a day before shopping and the fridge was bare. It yielded scraps of cheese, half a tub of sour cream, some cherry tomatoes. Using Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry as a base, I came up with this tart and together with cushions, rug and some Prokofiev, it provided everything we needed for a truly lovely evening.
Melbourne, you dazzle.
Makes a 22cm tart
1 quantity of sour cream pastry, chilled; 1 tbsp dijon mustard; ½ cup grated cheddar or tasty cheese; 1 punnet (200g) very ripe cherry or baby roma tomatoes; 125g brie or camembert; ½ cup basil leaves (about 12-16 leaves); sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Roll out the chilled pastry to a 3mm thickness and line a loose-bottomed 22cm tart or quiche tin (the one in the picture measures 36cm x 16cm). Trim the pastry and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
Line the chilled pastry with a sheet of baking paper and some dried beans or rice and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake a further 10 minutes until the pastry base is cooked and the edges are starting to brown. Remove the tart case from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C.
Spread the base with mustard then scatter grated cheddar evenly over the base. Slice the tomatoes lengthways and scatter them over the cheese, with the cut sides facing up.
Slice the brie in half (keep the skin on) then cut each half into 3mm slices and wedge the pieces of cheese between the tomatoes. Roughly tear or cut the basil leaves into smaller even pieces and wedge them in amongst the cheese and tomato pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil before popping the whole tart back into the oven.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the cheese is golden and melted and the tops of the tomatoes are starting to shrivel slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with a lightly dressed salad on the side, or with some serrano ham as part of a picnic.
$8.75 for a 22cm tart