My latest obsession & another heirloom tomato tart

Pistachios have long been one of my favourite ingredients, I adore them.  Another obsession I have, baked fruit crumbles.  I hold a very special place in my heart for a vintage ceramic dish filled with sticky, bubbling, gooey, caramelised fruit baked in a piping hot oven covered in a thick layer of golden, nutty, crunchy crumble topping.  That said a problem I’ve been grappling with of late is how to incorporate my beloved crumble into a steamy, scorching hot summer’s day.  The thought of jammy, sticky, piping hot fruit being retrieved from the oven is completely unappealing, especially considering there are days where the stinking hot temperatures have me believing I in fact live in an oven.  In truth there are days I purposely do not bake because the thought of turning on the inferno oven is utterly unbearable and would resemble a form of torture handed out in Guantanamo bay.

My obsession fix solution arrived the moment I realised I could simply bake the crumble mixture as is, no need for hot steamy baked fruit and nestle it in the refrigerator to sprinkle over fresh fruit and yoghurt whenever my crumble cravings kicked in.  Victory.  Absolute perfection.  The cool refreshing rockmelon nestled under a layer of cool, smooth and creamy vanilla yoghurt made the perfect canvas to the pistachio spiked crumble mixture. 

Last week’s heirloom tomato galette was enjoyed and eaten far too quickly.  And I think this subconscious longing for the all too quickly vanished galette lead me to once again purchase an array of beautifully ripe heirloom tomatoes.  I couldn’t resist, at the market the tomatoes looked absolutely stunning; bright red, perfectly ripe and they just so happened to be sitting oh so conveniently next to bunches of fragrant emerald oregano.  I plucked the tomatoes and the oregano and returned home to pay ohmage to my long gone galette with an heirloom tomato and goats cheese tart.

I started by roasted the heirloom tomatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil, freshly plucked oregano leaves, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  They emerged from the oven after a 20 minute bake smelling sweet and looking gorgeously charred.  I then used my favourite herb pastry to line individual tart tins and blind baked the pastry shells for a good ten minutes, just enough so the filling wouldn’t sodden the deliciously delicate and flaky herb spiked pastry.  The filling that I decided to use consisted of wonderfully sharp goats cheese, eggs, cream, finely chopped rosemary, sage and oregano and once again sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  To assemble the tarts I placed a wonderfully roasted heirloom tomato in the middle of each pastry case and spooned the eggy mixture around the tomato to fill the pastry shell.  With excitement and very impatiently I dotted extra dollops of the gorgeously sharp goats cheese around the tart and delivered them straight to the hot oven. 

When the heirloom tomato tarts emerged from the oven I couldn’t have been more excited about lunch.  With no hesitation R. and I quickly set the table, poured a couple of glasses of vino and found our favourite spot on the balcony to indulge and enjoy another wonderfully fragrant and utterly delicious roasted heirloom tomato tart.

Pistachio Crumble
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

80 gm brown sugar
40 gm plain flour
40 gm coarsely chopped pistachios
20 gm butter, melted
Zest of one lemon
Fruit, yoghurt and honey to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.  Line an oven tray with baking paper and sprinkle crumble over tray evenly.  Bake for ten to fifteen minutes (checking halfway to toss) or until golden.  Serve with fresh fruit, yoghurt and honey.

Heirloom Tomato and Goats Cheese Tart

5 heirloom tomatoes (on vine)
Extra virgin olive oil
Oregano, leaves picked
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quantity herb pastry
2 eggs
½ cup cream
1 spring rosemary, finely chopped
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, finely chopped
100gm goats cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Place tomatoes on a baking tray with oregano leaves, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tomatoes have slightly softened and charred. 
Meanwhile line 6 mini quiche tins with herb pastry, refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Fill pastry shells with baking paper and weights and blind bake for 10 to 15 minutes. 
In a small bowl combine eggs, cream, rosemary, sage, oregano, salt and pepper.  Place a roasted heirloom tomato in the centre of each par baked pastry shell and spoon egg mixture around tomato to almost fill the pastry shell.  Dot each tart with goats cheese and place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tarts are set and golden.  Makes 6.

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