What’s cooking today: Rustic Tomato Tart

What’s cooking today: Rustic Tomato Tart
Rustic tomato tart. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

There’s a whack of flavour in this dish thanks to the layer of caramelised onion beneath the tomatoes and the base of tomato and mustard paste below that.

For this, you need a standard old-fashioned oven pan, which you need to spray or grease.


1 recipe hot water pie crust (see below)

6 large, very ripe tomatoes, sliced (about ½ cm per slice)

4 medium onions, peeled and sliced thinly (NOT chopped)

3 Tbsp olive oil for frying the onions

100 ml tomato paste

2 heaped tsp Colmans Hot English Mustard OR 2 Tbsp quality Dijon mustard (note the teaspoon V. tablespoon: hot English is much stronger)

A few oregano sprigs, the leaves picked off

Coarse salt and cracked black pepper to taste


You can also make it round. (Photo: Louis Pieterse, Kudu Studio)

Preheat oven to 200℃.

In a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the sliced onions. Simmer them on a low heat until they are beautifully caramelised and browned. You need to move them around with two wooden spoons every five minutes or so to get the caramelisation even. They can be cooking while you make your pastry. Just keep an eye (and nose) on them.

Make the hot water pastry (see recipe below) and roll it out on a floured board until it is just a bit bigger than your oven tray on all sides. Carefully pick it up with both hands and place it over the oven pan to fit. Roll over the four sides to make a boat, as it were, and crimp the edges all round between finger and thumb. Prick the base in many places with a fork.

Mix 3 Tbsp mustard with 100 ml tomato paste (purée) in a small bowl. Spread this generously and evenly all over the base.

Spoon the caramelised onions all over and spread it to all corners and sides.

Layer tomato slices on top of this, in rows, overlapping a little.

Pick the oregano leaves and scatter them over the tomatoes.

Season generously with coarse salt and cracked pepper.

Drizzle more olive oil on top.

Bake it for 35 minutes or more in the hot oven, or until the pastry is nicely browned at the edges. Don’t be tied down to a cooking time; it’s ready when your eye says so. In my silly old gas oven it took a fair bit longer.

Hot Water Pie Crust

1 cup/250 ml water

250 g salted butter

4 cups plain flour

Heat the butter and water together in a pot and simmer until all the butter has melted and it reaches boiling point. Put the flour into a large bowl, make a well, and pour the hot water into it a little at a time while stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, just to combine the liquid and flour. Then mix it and knead it with clean hands, while it is hot, to form a nice smooth, pliable dough. It does not need salt.

It’s ready to use immediately, even while still warm, or you can cover it with cling film and refrigerate for use later. You can press it into a tart tin or onto a baking sheet, or roll it out first. DM168


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