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Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

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Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry on parchment with a gold spatula

Light, fresh, and flavorful, this rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry is the perfect dish for brunch, lunch, dinner, or even a snack. Every bite has just the right texture and flavor to make your mouth happy. The bite of the dijon paired with sweet tomatoes and the creamy French cheeses makes this dish stand out on its own. 

A tomato tart is unlike other savory tarts which usually have a cream or a custard. This dish is simply sliced tomatoes, mustard sauce, herbs, and French cheese. 

History of French Tarts (Sweet & Savory)

The history of French tarts can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who both made flatbreads with various toppings. The first true tarts, however, are thought to have originated in France in the Middle Ages. These early tarts were made with a variety of ingredients, including fruit, vegetables, and meat.

Over time, tarts became more sophisticated, and by the 17th century, they were a popular dessert in France. French tarts were often made with puff pastry, which was a new invention at the time. Puff pastry is made by layering dough with butter and then folding it over and over again. This process creates a light and flaky pastry that is perfect for tarts. Puff pastry can be homemade or a ready-made pastry that can be found in most grocery stores. 

Today, tarts are enjoyed all over the world. They are made with various ingredients, including fruit, vegetables, cheese, and chocolate. Tarts can be served as a dessert, a snack, or even a main course.

Sweet Tarts

  • Apple tart
  • Cherry tart
  • Lemon tart
  • Raspberry tart
  • Strawberry tart
  • Peach tart
  • Blueberry tart
  • Plum tart
  • Custard tart
  • Chocolate tart

Savory Tarts

  • Quiche
  • Tartiflette
  • Spanakopita
  • Feta cheese tart
  • Tomato tart
  • Mushroom tart
  • Leek and potato tart
  • Ham and cheese tart
  • Chicken and vegetable tart

The Crust

rectangle of puff pastry on parchment

There are many different crusts that can be used for tarts, including:

  • Puff pastry: This is a light and flaky pastry that is made by layering dough with butter and then folding it over and over again. (you can make your own pastry or buy some at your local grocery store)
  • Shortcrust pastry: This is a crumbly and tender pastry that is made with flour, butter, and water.
  • Phyllo dough: This is a very thin and delicate pastry that is made from flour and water.
  • Pie crust: This is a sturdy and flaky pastry that is made with flour, butter, and water (easy in a food processor). Try this cardamom pie dough recipe!
  • Tart shell: Tarts only have a bottom crust that is much thicker than a traditional pie. You can buy pre-made tart shells.

-The type of crust that you use will depend on the type of tart that you are making. For example, a light and flaky puff pastry would be a good choice for a fruit tart, while a sturdy pie crust would be a good choice for a savory tart. 

-I use a puff pastry for the delicious garden tomatoes, it has the perfect texture.

-Use a pastry cutter to trim off any excess dough if using a pie or tart pan.

Garden Fresh Tomatoes

tomatoes on the vine of a plant in the garden

One of my favorite things about summer is the garden. Those first ripe tomatoes, still warm from the sun just burst in your mouth. They are sweet and meaty and taste like heaven. Whether you have a busy row of tomatoes or just one pot, a fresh tomato reigns supreme. If you don’t grow your own check out a local market for juicy tomatoes in beautiful colors. 

 Many different varieties work fantastically in this recipe. I love Early Girl tomatoes and that is what I use for this rustic French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry.  Try heirloom tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or a mix of yellow and orange tomatoes (they are sweeter).

I plant these Early Girl tomato seedlings every year. They are very prolific and taste delicious!

basket of tomatoes

Garden tomatoes are typically smaller and juicier than store-bought tomatoes. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked with a reduced risk of cancer. Garden tomatoes can be eaten fresh, cooked, or canned. They are often used in salads, sandwiches, and sauces, and can also be used to make tomato juice, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. And look for the green tomato recipes that are delicious as well. 

The Mustard Layer – Dijon

Dijon is a city in eastern France and is the capital of the CĂ´te-d’Or department. It is known for its mustard, which is made from brown mustard seeds and white wine vinegar. Dijon mustard is a popular condiment in France and is used in a variety of dishes, including sandwiches, salads, and sauces. It is also used in cooking, especially in the preparation of meat dishes. Dijon mustard is rich in minerals and antioxidants.

Other varieties to try are:

  • whole grain mustard
  • honey mustard
  • spicy brown mustard
  • yellow mustard

What Cheeses To Use For A Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

The cheese selection for this dish was an easy one – Gruyere. First, because it’s French, and second because of the flavor. Gruyere has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture. It is a hard cheese that is made from cow’s milk. Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that is named after the town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. It is often used in fondue and raclette.

shredded gruyere cheese up close

Gruyere has been produced in the Gruyères region since the 12th century. Monks in the region originally made the cheese. Gruyere was first exported to France in the 16th century.

Today, Gruyere is produced in Switzerland, France, and the United States. It is a popular cheese that is used in a variety of dishes.

Another cheese that is quickly becoming a favorite is Basque cheese. Basque cheese is from the Pyrenees Mountain region in France. It is made from sheep’s milk and has a rich buttery flavor. 

Other Cheeses that would work great with this recipe are:

  • Mozzarella
  • Swiss or baby Swiss
  • White cheddar
  • Monterey jack
  • Fontina
  • Swiss
  • Goat Cheese
  • Emmental cheese – From Switzerland  – a Swiss or Alpine cheese

Seasonings For A Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

Herbs de Provence spilled artfully on a wooden board

Herbs de Provence is a delicious herb blend that is excellent in chicken pot pie or soup, pizzas, homemade stuffing, roasts, and so many more dishes. It is a herb blend of thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary, basil, sage, tarragon, and lavender. 

Any mixture of herbs works great for this rustic French tart. Try sprinkling on some fresh herbs like basil or French tarragon. The first time I smelled the herbs de Provence mix d I was infatuated – it is raw, rustic, natural, and earthy.

What Pans Work Best For A French Tomato Tart

dark metal tart pan on a creamy white cloth

Typically a tart is made in a tart pan, some with removable bottom – some pans make individual-sized tarts. Pie plates are a good choice as well, either deep-sided or regular glass ones.  

My pastry dishes tend to be more on the rustic side, and my favorite way to make them is to use a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Prepping The Tomatoes For Making A Rustic & Simple Tomato Tart

​One thing about tomatoes is that they are juicy and full of flavor, especially home-grown garden tomatoes. The juice is wonderful in sauces and salsas but not for pastry dishes like tarts and pizza. A little bit of prep work is needed before you assemble the rustic French tomato tart. 

  • Start by cutting the stem off and then cutting the tomatoes into slices. Not too thin, about 1/4 of an inch  – doesn’t need to be perfect, this is a rustic dish. Part of the charm is that it is natural and simple. 
sliced tomato on a bamboo cutting board
  • Get a large cooking sheet and place a wire rack on top. 
  • Lay the tomato slices on the rack and give them a pinch of salt on both sides. 
tomato slices on a wire rack atop a cooking sheet to make rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry
  • Leave the tomatoes to rest for 1-2 hours to extract some of the moisture. (You can blot the excess water with paper towels if needed)

Garden tomatoes tend to be the meatiest without excess moisture – as opposed to the store-bought varieties. No one wants the dreaded soggy bottom on their pastry. 

Ingredients For A Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

Ingredients for rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry laid out on a black placement

The ingredients for a rustic French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry are simple. Pastry, dijon mustard, fresh tomatoes, cheese, and herbs. 

1. Tomatoes (I used 7 medium-sized) – any tomatoes will work

2. Salt – sprinkle on the resting tomatoes

3. Dijon mustard – enough to spread on the bottom of the pastry

4. Puff pastry – one sheet

5. Herbs de Provence – about 1 teaspoon

6. 8 ounces of gruyere cheese

7. 5 ounces of basque cheese

Notes:

– Use a sensible number of tomatoes for the size and shape of your pastry.

Instructions On How To Make A Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

1. Slice and salt tomato slices and let them rest for 1-2 hours to release moisture.

salting tomato slices on a wire rack

2. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and roll out the puff pastry. Use a fork to dot holes in the bottom of the crust.

fork holes in puff pastry on parchment

3. Spread a layer of Dijon mustard all over the pastry.

dijon mustard on puff pastry

4. Grate the cheeses and sprinkle all the gruyere on top of the mustard.

cheese on puff pastry on parchment

5. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over the whole thing.

sliced tomatoes on puff pastry and cheese

6. Sprinkle the remaining basque cheese over the top of the tomatoes.

rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry before baking

7. Scatter the Herbs de Provence over the whole dish.

seasoning on rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry

8. Bake in a (high heat) pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 18-22 minutes (mine was done perfectly at 20 minutes).

Baked rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry on parchment

9. Let cool to almost room temperature, cut, and serve.

Notes:

-You can spray the cooking sheet with non-stick spray, use aluminum foil, or rub with olive oil. 

-Poking holes in the pastry creates a crisp pastry base and allows excess moisture to escape. 

– For a more golden crust, you can brush the outer edge with an egg wash but I don’t find this is necessary.

-This rustic French tomato tart is cooked at a high temperature – for the best crust and the development of flavors. 

– This French-style tomato tart can be customized to your liking. The dijon amount is up to you, as are the types of cheese used and the seasoning. 

When And How To Serve A Rustic French Tomato Tart 

Serving a delicious French tomato tart is the perfect way to show off your culinary skills. This dish is full of fresh tomato slices and golden brown cheese – slice with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. This French tomato and mustard tart is a great dish to serve any time of year – no need for a special occasion. Serve this dish warm or at room temperature with a scatter of herbs, a hot cup of coffee, and some sliced deli meats.

circle of wood with a cup of coffee, cold cuts, parsley, fork, white napkin and a plate with rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry

Here are some thoughts:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Snack
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Parties
  • Birthdays

And what should you serve with a rustic French tomato tart? 

Here are some suggestions:

How To Store And Reheat a Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart

To store the tomato tart- place it in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Keeps fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. 

up close bite of rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry on a silver fork

To reheat the French tomato tart there are a couple of ways.

  • Stovetop: On the stovetop in a pan. This is one of the easiest and best ways. The crust crisps up and the cheese gets all melty.
  • Oven: In an oven-safe dish or on a cooking sheet – heat uncovered at 325 degrees until hot. About 10-15 minutes.
  • Microwave: This is a fast choice but the savory tart crust won’t be as crisp. Heat on 70% power for about one minute, let stand and enjoy.

Wrapping Up Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

piece of rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry with a cup of coffee, fork and white napkin on a wood circle board

Imagine being in the south of France in the French countryside dining al fresco (out of doors) with flowers and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. On the table before you is this beautiful dish that is fresh, light, and delicious. It is everything you need for an amazing meal of French cuisine. This French classic is a celebration of the summer and embodies all that goes with a bountiful harvest.

The best way to enjoy this rustic and simple French tomato tart with puff pastry is with the people you love. It is easily a conversation starter and is perfect to be shared and enjoyed. Let me be the first to say how EASY it is – only a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of preparation to get this tart in the oven. 

Let me know what you think in the comments below – this is a favorite!

Cheers, 

Sarah

Check out my other French-inspired recipes – 

French galette with cardamom and peaches – https://inspiredhomemaker.com/easy-french-galette-with-cardamom-and-fresh-peaches/

Plum Clafoutis – https://inspiredhomemaker.com/how-to-make-plum-clafoutis-with-cardamom-spice/

Recipe Card For A Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart With Puff Pastry

Rustic and simple French tomato tart with puff pastry on parchment
5 from 2 votes

Rustic & Simple French Tomato Tart Recipe With Puff Pastry

Light, fresh, and flavorful, this rustic and simple French tomato tart recipe with puff pastry is the perfect dish for brunch, lunch, dinner, or even a snack. Every bite has just the right texture and flavor to make your mouth happy. The bite of the dijon paired with sweet tomatoes and the creamy French cheeses makes this dish stand out on its own.
425 degree oven & serves 8
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Salt for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Puff Pastry 9×13"
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 8 ounces Gruyere Cheese freshly grated
  • 5 ounces Basque Cheese freshly grated

Instructions

  • Slice and salt tomato slices and let them rest for 1-2 hours to release moisture – place on a wire rack.
  • Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and roll out the puff pastry. Use a fork to dot holes in the bottom of the crust.
  • Spread a layer of Dijon mustard all over the pastry.
  • Grate the cheeses and sprinkle all the gruyere on top of the mustard.
  • Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over the whole thing.
  • Sprinkle the remaining basque cheese over the top of the tomatoes.
  • Scatter the herbs de Provence over the whole dish.
  • Bake in a (high heat) pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 18-22 minutes (mine was done perfectly at 20 minutes).
  • Let cool to almost room temperature, cut, and serve.

Notes

-Use whatever type of tomato you like and however many fit in the pan you choose.
-You can spray the cooking sheet with non-stick spray, use aluminum foil, or rub with olive oil. 
-Poking holes in the pastry creates a crisp pastry base and allows excess moisture to escape. 
– For a more golden crust, you can brush the outer edge with an egg wash but I don’t find this is necessary.
-This rustic French tomato tart is cooked at a high temperature – for the best crust and the development of flavors. 
– This French-style tomato tart can be customized to your liking. The dijon amount is up to you, as are the types of cheese used and the seasoning.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Brunch, French cuisine, French tart, tomato tart, Tomatoes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sarah

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4 Comments

  1. A nice blend of savory and tart. Brunch all the way, although it would be good for almost any meal or as a side.

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