Tomato and basil tart
"Large, scarlet and fragrant with basil, this is a gorgeous tart and, in terms of cooking, is not much more than an assembly job. Do make sure your tomatoes are finely sliced or they won't cook through and or caramelise in the cooking time." Serves six.
You will need
1.2kg/2lb 12oz plum tomatoes
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g/3 1/2oz Parmesan, grated
75g/2 1/2oz Gruyère cheese, grated
40g/1 1/2oz basil leaves, torn, plus more to serve
Salt and pepper
500g/1lb 2oz ready-made puff pastry
1 Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas mark 6. Slice the tomatoes about 5mm/1/4in thick. Discard the slice that has the core (you can use this and the other end piece for a tomato sauce); you need only the clean slices for this. Mash the mascarpone with a fork and add the garlic, cheeses and basil. Season.
2 Roll the pastry out to make a 33cm/13in circle and put it on a floured baking sheet. Spread on the mascarpone mix, leaving a 5cm/2in rim round the outside. Now place the tomatoes on the pastry, starting from the outside edge. Place them in overlapping concentric circles, ending up with one slice in the middle of the tart. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
3 Put into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and cook for a further 35 minutes. The tomatoes should be slightly caramelised. Scatter with some basil leaves and serve immediately.
Variation: Tomato, thyme and mature Cheddar tart
Make the tart as above, but replace the Parmesan with really strong Cheddar and leave out the basil. Scatter the tomatoes with leaves from five thyme sprigs before cooking.