Rustic tarts are my thing. I make them quite often, and if I may brag, I think I do them justice. Over the years, I have perfected my crusts to bake flaky tender, and my trick is to roll the dough extra thin, especially on the edges, so they crisp-up, just the way I want them from the oven. Making a rustic tart is much easier than creating a tart in a removable bottom pan because they’re free-form. You can make any shape or size depending upon the dough, and they’re so much fun to fill with any seasonal ingredients.
Hatch chilies are available in most stores around the Western United States and they are definitely not to be missed. These New Mexican chilies are not particularly spicy, but they have a deep earthiness that’s quite unique to them, something I truly adore. If you happen to be in a place where you can’t get your hands on Hatch chilies, you can replace them with any mildly spicy chili, such as Anaheim, Ancho or Poblano.
The first thing you should do before adding any chilies to a baked good, is char them over an open flame. Your stove top or broiler is the best place for that, unless you want to fire up the grill. What’s great about adding chilies to a savory tart is that they build the flavor, and placing them on top of summer tomatoes, only adds to the experience.
The crust is made with flour and a bit of cornmeal, for added chew, and to highlight its Southwestern flair. The cheese binds the whole thing together in subluminal bliss, but brings you conscientiously to a place of pure happiness. I think this tart is a meal in itself, but you can slice it as an appetizer before a lighter dinner. Check out my Reel on Instagram if you have any questions about how to put this tart together. @genabellrecipes.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold diced
2 tablespoons heavy cream, for edges
3 large Hatch chilies, or other mild chilies
2 heaping teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
3 large sliced summer tomatoes, any variety
1 1/2 cups Gruyere, Emmantaler or Comte, grated
fresh herbs, like basil, thyme or oregano for varnish
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add butter and mix on low until coarse crumbs. While mixer is running, add 1/2 cup ice cold water. Mix until dough just begins to come together. Remove dough and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Over high flame on stove top or broiler, place chilies to char. Remove and place in a bag to steam for 5 minutes. Remove and peel charred skin and seeds from inside. Pull into strips with hands, set aside.
- Remove dough and roll out on floured countertop. Spread Dijon mustard around top of dough and dot with garlic. Layer tomatoes in a concentric circle around interior of dough, leaving a 2-inch edge. Top with chilies and cheese.
- Fold edges around tomatoes, crimping as you go. Place in freezer for 10 minutes, remove. Brush edges with cream and bake in oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce temperature and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Remove tart and cool for 20 minutes. Top with fresh herbs and slice. Enjoy!