Feb 23, 2014

Plum Tomatoes and Two Cheeses Blend Tarts Using Puff Pastry Sheet

Soon I'll be off to Taiwan for one or two months. As a result, finishing whatever is left in the fridge becomes my major task in the kitchen. There was an open box of frozen pastry sheet, seems like it has been sitting there for quite some time. Finishing up the whole box at once might be an daunting task, not mentioning the buttery calories hiding in between the flaky (but oh so delicious) layers. 

Good thing I started the fridge cleaning process early on. Let me use one puff pastry sheet for a savory tart recipe first, and finish off the other once I managed to burn off these oh so delicious calories. 

Plum tomatoes and two cheeses blend tarts -

Ingredient (makes two tarts):

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry sheet 
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese (I used 4 Cheddar cheese blend)
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • Some salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper
  • Some Tabasco sauce (optional)


To defrost the frozen puff pastry sheet, I took out one sheet from the box and wrapped in clear foil. The sheet was kept in the fridge section and slowly defrosted overnight. There are alo other defrosting instructions provided on the box. 

Take out the defrosted puff pastry sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel to prevent from drying. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Mix the ricotta and Cheddar cheese together. The Cheddar blends I used were sharp Wisconsin, Sharp New York, sharp Vermont, and mild California. Chop the basil leaves for sprinkling over the tarts later on. Beat one egg as an easy egg wash. Slice the tomatoes.

Dust the working surface with some flour if planning to roll out the pastry sheet there. Otherwise it might be easier to just line the baking sheet with parchment paper and work on the sheet instead.

Open up the pastry sheet and press to seal any cracks. You can slightly wet the fingers with water before sealing the cracks if the pastry has dried up. Cut the pastry sheet in half to get two shorter but wider rectangles.

I also cut a short line on the corners so the sides can be folded in easier, but it's not necessary.  

Evenly spread the cheese mix onto the center of the pastry sheets and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Fold in the sides, about half inch and press the edges with a fork. Brush the pastry surface with egg wash.

I was looking for beautifully baked edges with the patterns pressed with a fork. However, apparently I was too generous on the amount of cheese used so it overflowed and covered the marks. Well, if you asked me to do it all over again, my love for cheeses might still led me with oozing goodies everywhere, which I assume is not a bad thing.

Into the oven for 20 minutes. Once ready, transfer the tarts to the serving plate/s. Slightly torch the surface for a touch of smoky aroma. Sprinkle some chopped basil and serve with Tabasco sauce if desired. 

The week after, I baked the other pastry sheet with the same amount of cheese blend but without the tomatoes. The shape was different. The two rectangle sheets were folded together creating a pocket. I ran the knife on the top, making a few thin openings to let the air escape during the baking process. 

The tart, or the cheese pocket was finished off with a scoop of cookie crunch gelato and drizzled in dark chocolate sauce. One fine sweet and savory combo.