It’s fall and whilst everyone is delving into warm, comforting recipes with pumpkin and apples I’m making a cool, light Caprese tart. What’s up with that?
I’m also loaded with a cold. Most people take home a miniature Eiffel Tower as a souvenir from their trip to Paris. Not me – I picked up a cold instead. I never was one for convention. Even though it’s fall and I have a cold, it’s still 85-90°F outside. I want to snuggle up in bed with duvets but it’s too hot for duvets. I’m craving soup, but it’s too hot for soup.
So since I couldn’t have soup, I came up with a light and fresh comforting dish that would help me survive the heat. Crisp, buttery pastry topped with fresh tomato and basil, slathered with a balsamic glaze and covered with ooey-gooey melted cheese is certainly comforting. This tart is good warm out of the oven, at room temperature and chilled, making it a great appetizer to serve at parties that you can prep way before hand.
In other news – look at my new WordPress site! It’s still far away from being complete – at the time of typing the recipe and foodie fun pages are still blank – but I’m getting there. I’m doing all of this solo, so please bear with me!
Caprese Tart with a Balsamic Glaze
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 1 small tart
Serving Size: 2 as a starter or 4-6 as an appetizer
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
pinch fine salt
5 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
4 tablespoons lard, chilled and cubed
2-4 tablespoons cold water
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F and thickly slice the tomatoes into rounds and slice the rounds in half so you’re left with half-circle-shaped slices. Grease your skillet with olive oil and sprinkle on top 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Layer your tomatoes into the skillet and slide a handful of basil leaves amongst the tomato slices. Place your skillet over a low-medium heat and leave to cook gently for around 10 minutes.
To make the pastry, mix together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt. Rub in the butter and lard with your fingertips until your dough resembles find breadcrumbs.
Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time – mixing well in between – until your dough comes together. Roll your pastry out onto a floured surface until it’s just big enough to cover the bottom of the skillet you’re using.
Lay the pastry on top of your tomatoes and basil. Use your fingers to seal the pastry around the edge of the frying pan. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Whilst the tart is baking, pour the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to heat and whisk until it has reduced by half – this should take 10 to 15 minutes.