Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
From the clever folks at Cooks Illustrated, here is a brilliant tomato tart that will stay crispy enough to eat out of hand, as demonstrated below by my trusty hand model! The process of assembling the crust may seem a bit tedious at first but it is really quite simple and the end result is spectacular.
All purpose flour for work surface
1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (defrosted in frig overnight)
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound Roma tomatoes (3-4 medium)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
8 ounces low moisture whole milk mozzarella, shredded
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Dust work surface with flour and unfold both pieces puff pastry and follow these steps to form one large sheet with a border.
1) Brush egg along short edge of one sheet of puff pastry and overlap with second sheet of dough by one inch and press to seal pieces together.
2) With a rolling-pin, smooth out seam. Dough should measure about 18×9 inches. Use a pizza wheel or knife (and a ruler) to trim edges straight.
3) With a pizza wheel or knife, cut a 1-inch strip from the long side of the dough. Then cut another 1-inch strip from that same side.
4) Do the same thing on one short side. Now you should have 1 large rectangle of dough, 2 long, 1-inch wide strips and 2 short, 1-inch wide strips. Transfer the pieces of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg.
5) Gently press long strips of dough onto each long edge of dough and brush with egg. Gently press short strips of dough onto each short edge and brush with egg.
6) With a pizza wheel or knife, trim the excess dough from the corners.
So now, hopefully, you have a long, rectangular, unbaked tart shell with doubled up edges. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the shell (inside of the borders) and then using a fork, uniformly and thoroughly poke holes in the base of the shell. Bake 13-15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until golden brown and crisp, 13-15 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
While the shell bakes, place tomato slices in single layer on double layer of paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer of paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes. Combine garlic, oil, and pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over warm (or cool if made ahead) baked shell. Shingle tomato slices on top of cheese (about 4 slices per row) Brush tomatoes with garlic oil. Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 15-17 minutes. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, sprinkle with basil and serve. (6-8)
Tomato and Mozzarella Tart