Maybe it was the fresh cherry cakes I’d been baking weekly at the request of visiting friends, but I had cherries on my mind. When I saw little green baskets of colorful cherry tomatoes at the market I thought, what about a cherry tomato cake? Then inspiration hit, and here is the delicious result. Before summer tomatoes disappear, make this cherry tomato tart. It is easier than it looks. Your friends and family will think you are a culinary rock star.
Easy Press-In Crust
Tarts can be imtimidating because that often means rolling out pastry. But a press in crust? Far easier. And this one is gluten-free, made with almond and coconut flours. It’s the crust recipe I developed last fall for a pumpkin tart, with a few minor adjustments. It takes about 10 minutes to put together and another 16-18 minutes to bake. You can even make it ahead of time. Just bake, cool and wrap until you want to fill and bake.
Crust recipe adjustments – To make the crust a bit more savory (instead of sweet), I added an egg yolk, left out the sugar, and added 1 more tablespoon of unsalted butter.
For step-by-step directions on how to make the tart crust, see my directions in this post. You will need a 9″-9 1/2″ fluted tart pan with 1″ high sides and a removable bottom. It’s also nice to have a silicone baking mat so the tart pan doesn’t slide around, and a rimmed metal baking sheet (half size) for support.
After you bake and cool your tart crust, make the filling. Stir whole milk ricotta cheese with an egg, fresh basil (you could use oregano or thyme), a little grated Parmesan plus salt and pepper.
To fill the crust, simply pour in the filing and smooth to the edges.
To complete the tart, top filling with halved cherry tomatoes, cut side down. You can use all of one color or a variety of colors for a great visual effect.
Bake tart, cool and enjoy as first course or a light meal paired with a big green salad. The tart can be served warm or cool, but the flavors are more pronounced when it is warm.
Cherry Tomato Tart
- 1 tart crust recipe made without sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese 14 ounces
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves see note below for herb options
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 22-24 cherry tomatoes halved
Pre-heat oven to 350º. Place a silicone liner on a baking sheet to prevent the tart pan from sliding if you have one. If not, just be very careful wtih the tart.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, Parmesan and egg until smooth. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Pour filling into the tart crust, spread to the edges and top with halved cherry tomatoes, cut side down. Start at the outer edge, work around the tart pan, then fill in the center.
- Bake tart approximately 22-25 minutes, until tomatoes are wrinkled and the cheesy part is just starting to brown. Timing will depend on your oven. When tart is done, remove and cool on a wire baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. It can even be served chilled but the flavors are more pronounced when tart is warm.
To make a savory (versus sweet) tart crust, use the recipe on this page. Skip the sugar and add 1 extra tablespoon unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and an egg yolk.
Herb Notes – I first baked this using 2-3 teaspoons of fresh chopped thyme leaves and chopped chives. I've used fresh basil and added the Parmesan for more of an Italian flavor profile. Both were delicious. You could also use fresh chopped oregano instead of the basil. To chop fresh basil leaves, roll the leaves together into a cigar then sliced crosswise into ribbons.