Fresh Tomato Tart with a Spelt Flour Crust

Every single summer, fresh tomatoes win me over from the first moment I spot those plump, vibrant, pristine spheres at the market.

Vertical top down image of sliced pieces of a tomato pastry, with text in the middle and bottom of the image.

Perfectly round, red, meaty, and bursting on the inside – they deserve to be the main feature of many summer recipes.

But before you rush over to the dairy department to get a few tubs of fresh mozzarella for that caprese salad or pasta salad, I advise that you take a second look at the other offerings from the cheese counter to make something wonderful.

Vertical top-down image of a whole rectangular pastry on a floured surface topped with basil, shredded cheese, and whole tomatoes.

This tomato and cheese tart will give you the best, most refreshing comfort food vibes this summer.

Whole fresh tomatoes, thin slices of nutty, aged Gouda, and caramelized onions are all roasted together on top of a homemade spelt flour pastry crust.

Vertical close-up image of an unbaked tart with whole tomatoes, torn basil, cheese, and onions.

For the finishing touches, we add torn floral basil, flaky sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper.

You can use your favorite tomatoes for this recipe: Early Girls, grape, cherry, heirloom varieties – whatever you have that is at its ripest, juiciest, and most flavorful.

Vertical image of a whole rectangular savory pastry topped with blistered tomatoes and melted cheese on a dark slate.

If you are using larger varieties, I recommend that you cut them into slices. It will be far more manageable to eat with slices, rather than attempting to bite into a big, roasted tomato bursting with hot juices!

Vertical top-down image of a rectangular pan with roasted tomatoes and shredded cheese and herbs.

Let’s talk about this beautiful spelt flour pastry crust…

If you’re used to baking your crusts with all-purpose flour, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this variation. Spelt flour gives the pastry a hearty taste and beautiful light brown color.

Vertical close-up image of a whole rectangular pastry topped with blistered tomatoes, cheese, and herbs.

The high amount of butter in the crust may take a few tries when you’re prepping, since it has a tendency to melt quickly in the humid summer heat.

Vertical close-up image of blistered tomatoes on a baked pastry crust.

Especially if you’re like me with no air conditioning in the apartment. At least the small fan I set up next to my oven provides a small comfort with a weakened airflow indicative of its $15 price point.

My main piece of advice is to keep the dough cold. Follow the steps below to chill the dough before and after shaping into the pan to prevent the fat from melting prematurely before baking.

Vertical image of 4 cut pieces of a rectangular pastry topped with blistered tomatoes next to a white towel, tomatoes, and forks.

Once you learn all the techniques to master pastry dough for tarts and pies, you’ll soon be rewarded with a flaky, buttery, delicious crust that is just as good as the tantalizing filling.

Slice into wedges, and serve to your salivating guests outside on a cool summer night.

Vertical image of a basil leaf and part of a savory pastry on a brown plate.

You can have that salad another day. Indulge for just a moment, just one meal, with this summery comfort food dish you won’t soon forget.

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Horizontal image of a whole rectangular tomato tart on a dark slate surrounded by tomatoes, basil, and a white napkin.

Fresh Tomato Tart with Spelt Flour Crust


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 tart (8 servings) 1x

Description

Looking for some comfort food vibes with fresh summer ingredients? Make a spelt flour tart with tomatoes, cheese, and caramelized onions.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups white spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) aged gouda, very thinly sliced
  • 8 small tomatoes (such as cherry, grape)
  • 46 leaves fresh basil
  • Freshly cracked salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together the spelt flour and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour and salt until it is broken into pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add the ice water and yogurt, and mix until the water is absorbed.
  5. Turn onto a clean counter and knead lightly one or two times, to form one smooth disc.
  6. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill the butter.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it will fit the base of a tart pan, with a little bit of excess up the sides. Press the dough into the pan, and trim any excess around the edges. Place back in the refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes before filling.

For the Caramelized Onions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and stir them together with the oil.
  2. Let this mixture cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are soft and translucent, and just starting to turn light brown around the edges.
  3. Remove from the stove and transfer to a separate bowl or plate.

To Assemble and Bake:

  1. Evenly spread the chilled dough with the caramelized onions. Evenly distribute the slices of cheese on top of the onions. Place the whole tomatoes on top, arranging them around the tart.
  2. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and garnish on top. Evenly sprinkle the tart with freshly cracked salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until crust is golden and tomatoes have slightly shriveled and burst.
  4. Remove from oven, and let cool for 15 minutes before serving while still warm.

  • Category: Tart
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: tart, tomato, basil, onion, cheese, Gouda

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Make and Chill the Dough

Horizontal image of a pastry dough on a floured surface next to a brown plate with fresh produce.

For the crust, follow our detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect pie dough.

While we use spelt flour in this recipe, you can easily use the same amount of all-purpose flour instead.

The yogurt helps to reinforce the tart dough, making it more pliable to roll out.

Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill it in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This helps to relax the gluten and firm up the butter.

Step 2 – Shape

Horizontal image of a dark empty tart pan on top of dough. on a wooden surface next to a rolling pin and a plate with fresh produce.

Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin until it will fit the base of a tart pan, with a little bit of excess up the sides. Press the dough into the pan, and trim any excess around the edges.

I like to use the rolling pin to gently roll it onto the top of the pan for a quick, clean, and precise method of trimming away the excess dough.

Horizontal image of a rolling pin on top of an unbaked rectangular pastry surrounded by dough scraps next to a plate with fresh produce.

Place back in the refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes before filling. It’s essential to chill the dough again after it has been formed in the pan – your hands will begin to melt the butter while you are shaping.

Horizontal image of an unbaked rectangular tart in the middle of assorted ingredients.

Chilling for a second time after it is in the pan will re-harden the dough, and will help the dough maintain its shape inside the pan as it is baking.

Step 3 – Caramelize the Onions

Horizontal image of a skillet with caramelized onions.

While the crust is chilling, caramelize the onions. Slice them with a sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board. And have no fear, learn to get rid of those tears!

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, translucent, and browning on the edges.

Remove from the heat and let cool before placing on the dough – you don’t want the onions to be too hot, or else you’ll risk softening the dough too much!

Step 4 – Assemble

Horizontal image of an unbaked rectangular pastry crust topped with caramelized onions.

Spread the chilled dough with the cooled caramelized onions.

Next, evenly distribute the thin slices of cheese on top of the onions. Use a cheese slicer or knife and cutting board to get very thin slices.

Want something different than Gouda? Many styles of aged chees will work well. Try Parmigiano Reggiano, or an aged sharp cheddar instead.

Horizontal image of a rectangular tart topped with shredded cheese surrounded by assorted fresh ingredients.

Place the whole tomatoes on top, arranging them around the tart. I like to leave small tomatoes whole, as they each will provide a big, juicy burst of flavor when you take a bite. However, if you are using larger fruit, cut them down to an appropriate size.

Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and garnish on top. Evenly sprinkle the tart with freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Horizontal image of an unbaked rectangular pastry topped with herbs, produce, and cheese.

Skip your typical table salt for this recipe! There are some beautiful large-flake sea salts you should use that create the best textural contrast with the soft tomatoes.

Step 5 – Bake

Horizontal image of a whole rectangular tomato tart on a dark slate surrounded by tomatoes, basil, and a white napkin.

Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the tomatoes have slightly shriveled and burst.

Remove from oven, and let cool for 15 minutes before serving while still warm.

Try with Other Veggies!

Savory exploration of ingredients is nearly limitless – with all of the fresh produce now available this season, why don’t you try to experiment with other vegetables?

Horizontal image of two pieces of a savory pastry topped with blistered tomatoes and cheese.

Instead of tomatoes, you can top the onions and cheese with other fresh summer veggies such as zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli rabe, or asparagus.

And use whatever herbs are available to you: thyme, rosemary, dill, parsley, or a combo of any of them will all be undoubtedly tasty.

What vegetables do you think you’ll use for this recipe? Going with the original, or your own mix of ingredients? Let me know in the comment section below!

For more savory pies and tarts, try some of our favorites:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 27, 2014 by Shanna Mallon. Last updated: August 6, 2019 at 18:11 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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13 thoughts on “Fresh Tomato Tart with a Spelt Flour Crust”

  1. That tart looks beautiful! We planted “Fourth of July” tomatoes this year, which, like Early Girls, are supposed to ripen early, specifically by … you guessed it: July 4. Too bad they were the last of our plants to set fruit! Murdo now calls them our Fifth of August tomatoes. Next year I think we’ll try Early Girls.

  2. Those tomatoes are just beautiful! You’ve inspired my craving for tarts this morning. This might have to be dinner tomorrow, if not tonight!

  3. I am only a recent follower of your wonderful blog and yes, I am in love with your work. I saw a photo of this tart and immediately rushed to your website to see what I need to make this happen. I have a lot of tomatoes to spare. I am sure I can make it work.

  4. Can’t wait to collect some tomatoes from the family garden and prepare this terrific tart! OMG, the tomatoes look so delicious…

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