This is a dead-easy dish, but one that gets the thumbs up from my kids and guests every time. I absolutely love it for its concentrated flavours of sweet tomato and typical herbs, all on crunchy, buttery pastry.
Here’s what you need:
-1 Roll of all-butter shortcrust pastry (I always cheat with ready made pastry but insist on a good quality, buttery product)
-4 vine tomatoes
-1 tub of mascarpone
-some pesto or basil paste
-a bunch of thyme
First cut the tomatoes into fine slices and lay them out on a baking tray, sprinkle with some salt and a tiny bit of sugar and some thyme. Put them in the oven at 70 degrees for about an hour or so. Once the tomatoes have lost most of their moisture you will have achieved the reduction of flavours that you’re looking for.
Get your pastry out of the fridge and let it soften for 10 minutes. Get an appropriate oven dish or baking tray and line it with pastry, making sure there is an edge to hold the filling later. Blind bake the pastry at 160 degrees for 10 minutes (use beans or rice and some baking paper to stop it from throwing bubbles), take the pastry out and leave it to cool down.
Leave the oven on while you mix up half a tub of mascarpone with 3 tablespoons of Pesto and some good sea salt. Once the pastry has cooled down spread the Mascarpone and Pesto mix on the base, then top it all with your roasted tomato slices.
Sprinkle over some more Thyme and bake the tarte for another 10 minutes, or until you can see that the edge of the pastry is a nice golden colour. You can add some shaved parmesan on the top if you fancy. Serve hot or cold.