350 g mixe, ripe tomatoes, sliced
freshly ground black pepper
2 free-range eggs
400 ml double cream
150 g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
40 g butter, melted
200 g ready-made filo pastry
1 small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano
This is a delicate French-style tart. I'm using filo pastry and just a small amount of filling to keep it thin and crispy, so the real heroes in the taste department are going to be the tomatoes. Using a variety of different-coloured tomatoes on top of the tart makes it look incredible. And opt for a really good artisan Cheddar, such as Montgomery's or Keen's - it'll add a lovely sharpness.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Adding salt to them will bring out their flavour and also reduce the amount of moisture that seeps into the tart. Leave the colander over a bowl or in a sink while you get on with the rest of the tart.
To make the filling, beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the cream, grated cheese and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together well and put to one side.
Take a large tart tin (either a 10” round tin, or roughly 8” x 11” rectangular tin) and brush it with a little of the melted butter. Cover the tray with a layer of filo pastry, overlapping the sheets so there are no gaps. Brush this base layer with more of the butter and repeat 4 or 5 times until you have a sturdy base for the filling.
Pour the cream mixture onto the filo base and make sure it's evenly spread over it. Lay your tomatoes on, as neatly or as scruffily as you like, then season it again.
Pick the leaves from the herb sprigs and toss them in a little olive oil to lightly coat them. Sprinkle these over the tart, then place it on the bottom shelf of the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes then serve with a simple, fresh salad.
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This French-style tart is beautifully light, with a lovely sharpness from the cheese
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