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Tomato and Onion Tart

Tomato and Onion Tart
In France, simple country tarts like this one often form the centerpiece of a sunny picnic lunch. If you are short of time, substitute 3/4 pound store-bought puff pastry for the homemade.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe but firm tomatoes, 8 to 10 oz. total, cut
    into slices 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, frozen for 1 hour
  • 1/3 cup cake flour, frozen for 1 hour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into
    pieces, frozen for 1 hour
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, chilled
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion, separated into
    rings

Directions:

Place the tomato slices on paper towels and let drain for 1 hour.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine both flours, the salt and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. In a small cup, combine the lemon juice and ice water and add to the bowl. Using a fork, mix until the dough almost holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a rough rectangle shape. Large chunks of butter will be visible. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Fold in the 8-inch sides to meet in the center. Then fold in half to make a rough square forming 4 layers. This is your first turn.

Turn the dough a quarter of a turn and roll out again into a rectangle 8 by 12 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Repeat the folding. This is your second turn. Again make a quarter turn and roll out into the same-sized rectangle. Now fold into thirds as you would a business letter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400ºF.

On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Trim the edges so that they are even, and then crimp to form sides 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the oregano. Arrange the tomato slices in concentric circles, overlapping slightly, on the cheese. Scatter the onion rings and then the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano over the tomatoes. Bake until the crust is golden and the top is crispy, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes one 10-inch tart; serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Summer, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).