I love tomato sandwiches. When the tomatoes are bursting with flavor, falling off their vines and are in great abundance, The Goddess is in heaven. But a Goddess doesn’t live by tomato sandwiches alone. No. No, she doesn’t. This is relatively quick and easy, particularly if you purchase one of those rolled up pie crusts…and they are quite tasty and work great for this recipe. As I said, this goes together quickly. Not only is this delicious, but it makes a very, very nice mid-week supper. It also works great as a first coarse, with a salad. I’ve decided that The Goddess, though she makes some pretty exquisite pie pastry, doesn’t need to be a slave to pie crust. Those rolled up crusts, from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, are actually quite tasty. Particularly for a tarte tatin. The farmer’s market had some lovely mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, so naturally I purchased a couple of pints. I also purchase some muscat grapes, which I’m going to make into preserves, but that’s for another day. When you’re ready to start, take the crust out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Then, sauté the cherry tomatoes in olive oil. I use enough tomatoes to just cover the bottom of the skillet; I use a cast iron skillet. The tomatoes will sort of swell up, just before they collapse. You want them to collapse. The few that don’t pop, can be helped along by piercing them with the tip of a paring knife. Then, very gently press down on the tomatoes, with a spatula. Let them simmer gently for 4 or 5 minutes, until the liquid cooks down and thickens a bit. Then, pull the pan off the burner, dust (and I do mean just a light, light dusting) with cinnamon, sprinkle the herbs over the tomatoes and drizzle on the honey. At this point, I let the tomatoes rest, while I preheat the oven. I don’t like to put the crust on too quickly, as it sort of melts. At any rate, I don’t like the consistency. But, if the tomatoes cool just a bit, I find that it works better. Pop the crust on the tomatoes, pushing the edge down and under just slightly. Then, into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust browns. To turn the tarte out, put a serving dish over the skillet, hold the plate and skillet together tightly and using a smooth and continuous move, letting the tarte drop out onto the plate. If some tomatoes stick, pick them out of the skillet and just put them back in place on the tarte. While the tarte bakes, mix the ricotta, lemon zest and juice and cream. Just stir it up well. Serve each wedge with a dollop of the ricotta on top or the side.
Herbed Tomato Tarte Tatin with Lemon-Ricotta
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes (I used mixed heirlooms)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon (or less—just a dusting)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I use rosemary, thyme and oregano)
- 1-2 tablespoons honey (I used a rosemary honey)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 single pie crust (I use one of the chilled, rolled crusts)
- Ricotta Topping:
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- Grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons half-and-half (more or less to thin slightly)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron), over medium heat. Add the tomatoes in one layer. Sauté, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes pop and collapse. Gently pressing on them with a spatula, after they begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Don’t push too hard, or they will explode. For those tomatoes that don’t break down, pierce with a sharp knife tip, then gently press on the tomatoes. Let them simmer, to reduce the juice, 4-6 minutes, depending on how juicy the tomatoes are to begin with. Remove the pan from the heat source, when the juice thickens slightly; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
While the tomatoes cook, remove the pie crust from the fridge and let stand for 10 minutes, on the counter. Chop the fresh herbs; sprinkle over the cooked tomatoes, along with the cinnamon. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly grind black pepper over. Drizzle with the honey. Carefully unroll the pie crust. If it tears, press back together. Place the crust over the tomatoes, tucking the edges down and slightly under the tomatoes. Place the skillet in the oven, on the lower shelf. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown. Remove the pan from the oven. Place a plate over the skillet and using one fluid motion, invert the tarte onto the plate. Use caution, as the skillet is still very hot! If some tomatoes stick to the bottom of the skillet, use a knife or spatula to remove and place back on the tarte. Set aside.
While the tarte bakes, combine the ricotta, lemon zest and juice and half-and-half in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined; set aside. After the tarte has cooled for about 5-10 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve with a dollop of ricotta directly on top. Serve immediately. This is an excellent supper served with a salad. This can also be cut into thing wedges, topped with some ricotta and served as an appetizer.
NOTE: Crushed garlic can be added to the tomatoes, along with the herbs, or stirred into the ricotta, if desired.
Herbed Tomato Tarte Tatin with Lemon-Ricotta Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.