Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
Thawing the frozen puff pastry in the
refrigerator overnight will help prevent
cracking while unfolding it. Be sure to use a
low-moisture supermarket mozzarella sold in
block form, not fresh water-packed mozzarella.
If you prefer to do some advanced preparation,
the tart shell can be prebaked through step 1,
cooled to room temperature, wrapped in plastic
wrap, and kept at room temperature for up to two
days before being topped and baked with the
mozzarella and tomatoes.
unbleached all-purpose flour for work surface
1 box frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm, 1.1
pound), thawed in box in refrigerator overnight
1 large egg , beaten
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 3 to 4 medium),
cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed
through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese , shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
See Illustrations Below: Forming the Tart Shell
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and
heat oven to 425 degrees. Dust work surface with
flour and unfold both pieces puff pastry onto
work surface. Following illustrations below,
form 1 large sheet with border, using beaten egg
as directed. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over
shell; using fork, uniformly and thoroughly poke
holes in shell. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, then
reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; continue
to bake until golden brown and crisp, 13 to 15
minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack; increase
oven temperature to 425 degrees.
While shell bakes, place tomato slices in single
layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle
evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30
minutes. Place second double layer paper towels
on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry
tomatoes. Combine garlic, olive oil, and pinch
each salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over warm (or cool,
if made ahead) baked shell. Shingle tomato
slices widthwise on top of cheese (about 4
slices per row); brush tomatoes with garlic oil.
Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese
is melted, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on wire rack 5
minutes, sprinkle with basil, slide onto cutting
board or serving platter, cut into pieces, and
STEP BY STEP: Forming the Tart Shell
Brush egg along one edge of one sheet of puff
pastry. Overlap with second sheet of dough by 1
inch and press to seal pieces together.
With rolling pin, smooth out seam. Dough should
measure about 18 by 9 inches. Use pizza wheel or
knife to trim edges straight.
With pizza wheel or knife, cut 1-inch strip from
long side of dough. Cut another 1-inch strip
from same side.
Cut 1-inch strip from short side of dough. Cut
another 1-inch strip from same side. Transfer
pieces of dough to parchment-lined baking sheet
and brush with egg.
Gently press long strips of dough onto each long
edge of dough and brush with egg. Gently press
short strips of dough onto each short edge and
brush with egg.
With pizza wheel or knife, trim excess dough