Torta Salata di Frangipane e Pomodoro
A savoury frangipane tart, and an absolute winner for using up end-of-season tomatoes. Make a double batch of frangipane as it freezes very well. Like a quiche, this tart can be enjoyed warm, or fridge cold, making it a great choice for a picnic lunch. As the tart cooks, the tomato juices are absorbed by the frangipane, which expands and creates a light and flavourful mid layer; the pastry remains flaky and the tomato flavour becomes gloriously concentrated. With thanks to Danika Sea and Edible Vancouver Island for the beautiful photo.
150g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten*
70g (+/-) panko (or crushed Salteens)
80g ground almonds
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tsp fresh picked thyme leaves
100g ricotta, drained
30g parmesan, finely grated
Maldon sea salt and black pepper
2 sheets of shop-bought puff pastry (or, by all means make your own!)
2lbs tomatoes, sliced
6-8 anchovies (optional)
*Plus a little extra beaten egg
Heat oven to 400F.
Using an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until light and aerated. Gradually add the beaten egg. You can add some panko to bring the mix back together if it splits.
Next add any remaining panko, almonds and garlic. Mix well with a wooden spoon to combine. Using a spatula, fold in the thyme leaves, ricotta and parmesan. Season with black pepper. The raw frangipane should hold its shape–if it’s too wet, add some more panko. Cover with a towel and set aside until you are ready to use.
Place each pastry sheet on some parchment paper, and roll the pastry sheets until they are about 2mm thick. Slice a 2x1cm border from all the way round each sheet. Using a little beaten egg to secure, stack these border pieces on top of one another at the edge of the main sheet to build up the edges.
Spread the almond mixture evenly over the pastry sheets, leaving a little gap close to the built up edges. Arrange the tomato slices, perfectly or messily, on top of the frangipane. However, you should allow a little overlap as the tomato slices will shrink in the oven. Drape a few anchovies here and there, if using. Finally add a good sprinkle of Maldon, and brush with egg any exposed pastry. Grab the edge of the parchment and pull each tart on to a large baking sheet.
Bake the tarts at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. When cooked, the base will be a golden brown, the frangipane puffed up, and the tomatoes will have shrunk. You know your oven best–the tarts may take a little longer, or a little less time depending.
Remove from the oven, and leave to cool slightly before slicing. Alternatively, allow to cool completely and refrigerate for a cold snack. Serve with a green salad and balsamic vinaigrette. A light dry red, or rosé is a perfect with this savoury tart.