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Makes one 9-inch tart

Roasted cherry tomatoes, plenty of cheese, and creamy custard enveloped in a buttery crust make this tomato tart quintessential summer fare. Roasting tomatoes concentrates their sweetness and allows the little red fruits to release some of their juices. A smidgen of flour in the filling also keeps the tomato juices in check. You can make the dough and roll it out the traditional way, or use this easy press-in-the-pan technique. First, spread the crumbs of dough evenly over the bottom of a tart pan with a removable base. With your fingers, press them loosely into the sides of the pan and then spread the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom. The crust is partially baked first without a filling (the culinary term for this is baking "blind"). A press-in crust makes life easier when rolling dough is a bridge too far. Or maybe you're lucky and happen to be in a cottage by the sea without a rolling pin. Now that's a predicament anyone would welcome.

DOUGH

cups flour
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4tablespoons ice water, or more if needed

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 9-inch tart pan with a removable rim, a sheet of foil, and pie weights or dried beans. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and butter together until they form pea-size pieces. Drizzle the 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse again until the mixture looks like small beads, but has not yet formed a ball. It should make clumps without cracking when you squeeze a small amount in your hand. If the mixture is dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Transfer the dough crumbs to the tart pan. Spread them over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan, and use a dry measuring cup to press the dough into the sides of the pan so the corners are not too thick. Use your index finger to firmly press the top edge so it is even all around. Press and smooth the remaining crumbs over the bottom. Transfer to the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

4. Line the tart pan with foil and fill to the brim with pie weights or beans. Leave the tart on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more, or until the dough is lightly browned. Leave the oven on for the tomatoes.

TOMATOES

pints (3 cups) cherry tomatoes, stems pulled off
1tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle with thyme.

2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften and release some of their juices. Set aside to cool.

CUSTARD

1 egg and 1 extra yolk
¾cup heavy cream
2teaspoons flour
Pinch each of salt and pepper
½cup shredded Parmesan
4ounces Fontina or Fontal cheese, cut into small dice
Extra fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)

1. In a bowl, whisk the egg, extra yolk, cream, flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.

2. Spread 1/4 cup of the Parmesan on the crust. Arrange the tomatoes in one layer in the pan and tuck the cheese cubes around the tomatoes. Pour the custard mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the custard is puffed and golden on top. Cool for 30 minutes or until the custard is firm. Sprinkle with thyme, cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Makes one 9-inch tart

Roasted cherry tomatoes, plenty of cheese, and creamy custard enveloped in a buttery crust make this tomato tart quintessential summer fare. Roasting tomatoes concentrates their sweetness and allows the little red fruits to release some of their juices. A smidgen of flour in the filling also keeps the tomato juices in check. You can make the dough and roll it out the traditional way, or use this easy press-in-the-pan technique. First, spread the crumbs of dough evenly over the bottom of a tart pan with a removable base. With your fingers, press them loosely into the sides of the pan and then spread the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom. The crust is partially baked first without a filling (the culinary term for this is baking "blind"). A press-in crust makes life easier when rolling dough is a bridge too far. Or maybe you're lucky and happen to be in a cottage by the sea without a rolling pin. Now that's a predicament anyone would welcome.

DOUGH

cups flour
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4tablespoons ice water, or more if needed

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 9-inch tart pan with a removable rim, a sheet of foil, and pie weights or dried beans. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and butter together until they form pea-size pieces. Drizzle the 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse again until the mixture looks like small beads, but has not yet formed a ball. It should make clumps without cracking when you squeeze a small amount in your hand. If the mixture is dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Transfer the dough crumbs to the tart pan. Spread them over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan, and use a dry measuring cup to press the dough into the sides of the pan so the corners are not too thick. Use your index finger to firmly press the top edge so it is even all around. Press and smooth the remaining crumbs over the bottom. Transfer to the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

4. Line the tart pan with foil and fill to the brim with pie weights or beans. Leave the tart on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more, or until the dough is lightly browned. Leave the oven on for the tomatoes.

TOMATOES

pints (3 cups) cherry tomatoes, stems pulled off
1tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle with thyme.

2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften and release some of their juices. Set aside to cool.

CUSTARD

1 egg and 1 extra yolk
¾cup heavy cream
2teaspoons flour
Pinch each of salt and pepper
½cup shredded Parmesan
4ounces Fontina or Fontal cheese, cut into small dice
Extra fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)

1. In a bowl, whisk the egg, extra yolk, cream, flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.

2. Spread 1/4 cup of the Parmesan on the crust. Arrange the tomatoes in one layer in the pan and tuck the cheese cubes around the tomatoes. Pour the custard mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the custard is puffed and golden on top. Cool for 30 minutes or until the custard is firm. Sprinkle with thyme, cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.Sally Pasley Vargas