Tomato Tart

While it's not tomato season yet in Michigan, the farmers market is starting to have some very nice greenhouse tomatoes that are actually pretty good. I've picked up a few over the last couple weeks and have been quite happy with them, on sandwiches or salads. Over the winter I've forgotten how much I love having fresh tomatoes around, they are so useful and so delicious. They may not be fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun tomatoes, but I am happy with them for now, and they worked perfectly in this tomato tart.

This tart is basically just a pizza in a different form, and it was delicious. Spreading an entire head of roasted garlic on the crust is a brilliant start. Since I had mozzarella in the freezer, I used that instead of the Fontina which was called for. I would have loved to use Fontina, but the mozzarella was still very good. Fresh basil on top was the perfect finishing touch. I thought this tart was just wonderful, and I can't wait to make it again with my very own tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

Tomato Tart
From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

  • 1 head garlic

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • All purpose flour for dusting

  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brissee (recipe follows)

  • 3/4 cup grated Fontina or mozzarella (about 3 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • course salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 12 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the garlic on a piece of foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Fold the foil up around the garlic, sealing the edges, and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until golden brown and the tip of a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the clovees out of their skins and into a small bowl, mash with fork and set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 13 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the dough into a 10 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, pressing into the edges. Using a rolling pin or a sharp paring knife, trim dough flush with the top edge of the tart pan; chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly on the bottom of the chilled shell. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern on top of the cheese, working from the out edge toward the center. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake tart until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Thinly slice basil leaves lengthwise. Sprinkle tart with basil, and serve warm.

Pate Brisee

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two fork.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together with out being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still to crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic  wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Growing up, pizza was a weekly staple, so if I don't have pizza at least a couple of times a month I go into pizza withdrawals. Until recently, pizza night always involved take out pizza. However, in the last year or so I've been making my own pizzas from time to time. I try not to compare homemade pizza to takeout pizza because to me the two are completely different and so serve a completely different purpose.

When making pizza at home I usually make a thin crust and bake it on my beloved pizza stone with the oven cranked up as high as it will go. This almost always involves the smoke detector going off, but that's okay. These pizzas are delicious and one of my favorite dinners. However, I recently came across a recipe for a pan pizza. When I get takeout I almost always get pan pizza and I didn't think it was possible to mimic this type of crust at home, so when I saw the recipe I knew I had to give it a shot. Not only was it an extremely easy recipe, but it came together quite fast for homemade pizza.

What you do is fill a cake pan with an outrageous amount of oil and then place the dough right on top of it. As the pizza cooks, the oil causes the crust to get brown and deliciously crispy. The dough is extremely light and soft, it rises quite a bit during cooking, leaving you with a thick, pillowy soft layer of crust surrounded by the crisp outer layer. The combination is fabulous, and it's beautiful to look at too, but you won't be able to enjoy that for long, trust me, you'll scarf it down in seconds; enjoy!

It doesn't get much better than this!

Ready to make the dough

Dough made, ready to rise

Get the sauce going

I'm not scared of grease, but I tried this method

to get rid of some of it;

microwave your pepperoni for a minute or so

It let's off quite a bit!

Fill those pans with a healthy dose of 

some good olive oil

Divide the risen dough in half

Roll each half out

Shape it into a nice circle

And lay it on top of the oil 

Ready for topping

Start with the sauce

Then a good dose of cheese

Finish it off with the pepperoni

20 minutes later,



Look at that thick, crispy, golden brown crust

Let it cool for a minute, then dig in


Pepperoni Pan Pizza
From America's Test Kitchen

  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • ¾ cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees 
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter 
  • 1 package instant yeast 
  • ½ tsp table salt 


  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni 
  • 1 ⅓ cups tomato sauce 
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 

To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 TB of oil.

Mix milk, sugar and remaining 2 TB pf oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together*, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 ½ inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.

Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle ⅔ cup sauce on each round, leaving ½ inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 ½ cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using

spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

Basic Pizza Sauce
From: America's Test Kitchen

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 

Cook oil and garlic in medium sauce pan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

(This isn't an amazing sauce, but it's good, easy and does the trick. You could try to doctor it up a little with additional spices/herbs, or just use your favorite pizza sauce.)