The tomatoes keep coming. I have canned three separate batches, froze some sauce and now have a third bowl that I must deal with before I leave the house today. These tomatoes were given to mother and me by my aunt on my recent visit to Western New York, and are some of the most beautiful I have seen this season: medium-sized tear-drop shape, deep red and very sweet. When home, I was inspired to use these beauties to make a tomato tart (from a Bon Appetit recipe a week or so ago) and I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. I do plan on tweaking this recipe a bit, but it disappeared rather quickly, so I won’t change it too much – here are the details!
In a cast iron skillet I melted a quarter stick of butter and a 1/4 cup of sugar and let it all melt together and start to turn brown. I drizzled about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and let that reduce for a minute. I tossed in a few leaves of torn basil and a teaspoon of salt. Next I filled the pan with those gorgeous tomatoes, cut in half and placed cut-side down, letting these cook down and caramelize for 15 minutes or so, stirring every so often. Once the tomatoes were soft, I placed a round of pie dough on top and tucked in the edges around the tomatoes. The original recipe (which I’ve deviated from quite a bit) called for puff pastry, which I didn’t have, and might work better. I baked this until the pie dough was browned (about 20 minutes) in a 425 degree oven. Once I took this out, I let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes or so and then loosened the dough, put a plate to the bottom of the skillet and inverted the whole pan. In truth, some of the tomatoes stuck a bit, but it was easy to recreate and looked quite beautiful – especially drizzled with a touch of high quality balsamic and a few more torn leaves of tomato.
Is it a dessert? A side dish? An appetizer? I don’t know. But it was all delicious.