Let me introduce you to the star of this week- Basil Tomato Tart
A basic short crust pastry recipe will be your very best friend once you understand its shortfalls.If you can do this then let me tell you there is no end to the number of pies you can make.
This is a healthier version of the traditional recipe.I have swapped half the all purpose flour with multigrain flour(aata).A short crust pastry does not depend on gluten for its texture and so it makes sense to reduce the amount of refined flour in the recipe.
The logic behind using the cold butter and minimum handling and kneading of the pastry is that the butter shouldn’t melt before the actual baking.You want the cold butter to melt inside the oven and crisp up the pastry and make it flaky.That is the reason the dough is barely kneaded once you incorporate the water and also why it needs to be chilled repeatedly.
It might sound complicated but it’s not I promise.
Rub the butter into the flour till you get pea sized coarse meal.Add 1 tbsp cold water and form the dough with minimum work,just till it barely holds together in a ball(Add more water if required).Wrap it and chuck it in the fridge.Take it out 5 minutes before rolling the pastry and shape it.Again, put it in the fridge to re solidify your butter and take it out just before it has to be baked.
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour Can also do 1 cup maida or all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Butter
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tbsp Cold Water or more if required
- Cut the butter into cubes and keep in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Mix the salt into the flour.
- Take the butter out of the freezer and start rubbing into the flour.This is sort of a pinching motion.
- The butter cubes should have gotten mixed into the flour forming pea sized clumps.This process will take at least 10 minutes if the butter is properly chilled.
- Add the chilled water and combine the ingredients to make a ball of dough.Knead as little as possible.If the dough is roughly coming together its enough.Add more water only if required.
- Cover in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Take the dough out of the fridge 5 minutes before you have to roll.
- Roll the dough with some loose flour to 1/8 to 1/4 an inch thickness.Roll the pastry an inch more than the size required so the edges come clean.
- Gently transfer on the pie pan and trim the excess dough off. Cover with a plastic wrap or inside a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Poke holes in the pastry with a fork.Cover with a butter sheet(parchment paper) and add pie stones or any heavy grain/pulse like Rajma/Chickpeas or rice.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pie stones and the parchment paper and bake for another 10 minutes.
Once you have your pastry you can do anything you want with it.You have endless options from filling the pie with caramel or chocolate or lemon curd or making a savoury pie like I have made.My mom likes to fill these with thick vanilla custard and top it with fruits just before serving.I am more partial towards savoury pies and quiches.
Tomatos and basil is a classic combination where you can’t really go wrong.Serve this Basil Tomato Tart for a brunch or serve it as a special breakfast in bed to a loved one.This savoury pie is sure to entice anybody out of their slumber!
I suggest you use the best tomatoes you can get your hands on.If you can find heirloom tomatoes I strongly advice you to use them.This recipe can be made more decadent by adding bacon to the mixture.If you want to make a skinny version of it I would skimp on the cheese but not on the butter in the pie crust recipe as that will change the texture of the base.
- Blind Baked Pastry 6 inch pie pan
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 1/2 cup Cheese
- 2 tsp Dried Basil
- 5-6 Cherry Tomato Halved
- 1 Large Tomato Julienned
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt or as per your taste
- Break the eggs in a bowl.Add milk,Salt,Cheese,Basil and tomatoes.
- Pour the egg mixture in the blind baked pie shell.(recipe above)
- Top the pie with tomatoes.
- Spray olive oil on the pie.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.