Mr. Ellis’s Tomato TartPhoto Credit : Lori Pedrick | Styling by Liz Neily
This savory tart was created by my friend Cole Ellis, who runs the Delta Meat Market in his hometown of Cleveland, Mississippi. It has a buttery crust, a righteous mayonnaise-buttermilk-Parmesan custard, and loads of tomatoes. Though it goes without saying, this should be made only in deep summer, when you can get the best, juiciest tomatoes of all colors and sizes.
From “The Jewels of Summer” by Jessica Battilana, July/August 2019
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup ice water
First, make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. Place a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board, turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap, flatten the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk, then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to three days; it can also be frozen for up to a month, but let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place dough on a lightly floured cutting board and use a lightly floured rolling pin to make a 14-inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Transfer to a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan, fitting dough into the bottom and sides and pinching off any excess. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and use a fork to prick the bottom of the dough all over. Place a 14-inch sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil into the tart pan, and add dried beans or pie weights to weigh the paper down. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust edges are firm and beginning to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the paper and pie weights. Return to the bottom rack and continue to bake until the crust is golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup plus ¼ cup grated Parmesan
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch wedges
½ cup fresh basil leaves
Now, make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, eggs, ½ cup Parmesan, chopped scallions, and black pepper. Pour ¾ of the mixture into the crust, then arrange the tomato wedges in a circular pattern, overlapping them slightly. Roughly tear the basil leaves and distribute evenly over the top of the tart. Pour the remaining custard over all and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake until crust is a deep golden brown and filling is set and beginning to brown on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool at least 30 minutes, then unmold and cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.