Cheese Tart with Tomatoes & a Herb and Cheddar Crust

Cheese Tart with Tomatoes & a Herb and Cheddar Crust

This savory cheese tart is made with three kinds of cheese, fresh baby tomatoes, caramelized shallots and an easy herb and cheddar pastry crust.  An excellent tart to share with friends!  It can be made as a larger tart or smaller individual tarts.

These tomato and cheese tarts are also a great way to use up any tomatoes from your garden.  They taste amazing with garden fresh tomatoes!

What are the ingredients in the cheese tart?

Here is a list of the ingredients in our cheese tart recipe.

  • boursin cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • baby tomatoes
  • caramelized shallots
  • lemon zest
  • thyme and basil
  • parmesan cheese

Other ingredients that would be wonderful in this cheese tart:

  • bacon or prosciutto
  • you could use slices of larger tomatoes if that’s what you have
  • any other kind of cheese – but don’t omit the boursin cheese
  • onions instead of shallots

a finished tomato and cheese tart with parmesan and basil on top

Don’t these little tomato and cheese tarts look so pretty?  They are such a great little appetizer to make when you really want to impress, but you don’t want it to take forever or be too tedious.  Believe it or not, they are really easy.  The hardest part is the crust, but our recipe is pretty foolproof.   I have made it a million times and it always comes out nicely.

We love this savory tart for entertaining also because you can do most of it ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and then just throw it in the oven 30 mins before you want to serve it.

Serve it as a light lunch with a side salad or as an appetizer at a dinner party, or even make a few and slice them into little triangles for an appetizer table.  They can be served hot or cold so they also work for a potluck or when your’re asked to bring an appy to a friends place.

Either way, if you like cheese and you like tomatoes, you’r gonna love this little tomato and cheese tart!

How to make the tomato and cheese tart:

There are four steps to making a tomato and cheese tart.

  1. make the herb and cheddar crust
  2. make the filling
  3. assemble the cheese tart
  4. bake the cheese tart

a tomato and cheese tart ready to bake

How to make the herb and cheddar crust:

Don’t be nervous to make the pastry crust.  It’s actually really easy and this recipe is very forgiving.  It turns out great ever single time.  Here are the steps to get it right:

  • In a small bowl, add the egg yolk and break it up with a fork. Add the vinegar and the cold water. Set it in the fridge till you are ready so it stays cold.
  • In a stand mixer or in a food processor, add the flour, salt, baking powder, herbs and shredded cheddar cheese.  Then add the cold butter. Pulse in your mixer till it resembles small peas.  You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter.  It just takes a little more work.
  • Then add the cold liquid slowly and mix till just combined.  Pour out on to a surface and mold the pastry into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. 1 hour is better.
  • After an hour, roll out the pie crust so that it fits your tart pans.  Drape the pastry over your tart pans and gently push the pastry into the corners and the bottom of the pans.  Roll your rolling pin over the edges of your tart pan to cut off the extra pastry and make a perfect fit.   You can use a 9 or 10 inch tart pan or mini tart pans.  We like both!  Either way, we like the tart pans with a removable bottom.  It makes it so much easier to get the tart out of the pan!
  • Put your pastry in the fridge for 30 mins before baking so it gets nice and cold again.
  • When you are ready to bake them, place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry and fill each tart with pie weights.  You can also use dried beans for this too!  The weights make sure the shells will keep their shape when they bake.
  • Bake the tart shells at 350 for about 10-12 mins for smaller tarts and 13 – 15 mins for larger tarts.  Keep an eye on them though.  You don’t want them getting too brown, especially on the edges.  Its ok if the shells aren’t fully cooked.  They are going to bake in the oven again.

TIPS: 

  • You can use a 9 or 10 inch tart pan or mini tart pans.  We like both!  Either way, we like the tart pans with a removable bottom.  It makes it so much easier to get the tart out of the pan!
  • You don’t have to use pastry flour, but if you can, do.  It is finer and gives you a nicer, flakier finished product.
  • Make sure your pastry stays cold until it goes in the oven.  And don’t skimp on the resting time in the fridge, especially right before the shells are baked.  Otherwise the crust can sag and loose its shape while baking.  The sides of our tart shell slipped down a bit and that wouldn’t have happened if we had chilled it long enough.
  • Don’t over moisten the dough.  You might want to start with 1/2 of the liquid and then add more if you need more.  You want the dough to be pretty dry with just enough moisture to come together, not be sticky and wet.

pictures showing how to make the tart crust

Make the tomato cheese tart filling:

While the tart shells are getting cold in the fridge or baking in the over, get your filling ready:

  • get out a small skillet and heat it to med – low heat.  Add the sliced shallots and butter to the pan and cook, stirring every once in a while until they get nice and soft and browned.  Then let them cool.
  • add the boursin cheese to a bowl and grate the zest of the lemon onto the boursin.  Then give it a good mix.  A micro planer like this is the best for grating citrus zest.
  • wash and slice your baby tomatoes in half.

Assemble the tomato cheese tart:

Into the baked tart shells add the filling.

  • First spread the boursin mixture on the bottom of the shell.  You need just a thin layer but make sure the bottom is covered completely.  Maybe a 1/4 inch thick.
  • Next spread the shallots on top.  You can put as many or as little as you like, but make sure you have enough for all the tarts.
  • Cover the shallots with shredded cheddar cheese.  Just a thin layer again.
  • Place the baby tomato halves on top of the cheddar cheese in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme and maldon salt.

pictures showing how to make the cheese tart

Bake the tomato cheese tart:

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and bake your tarts for 25 – 30 mins.  If the edges of the tart shells get too browned, put a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on top of the tarts and that will help prevent them from burning.

When they come out of the oven, sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Let the finished tarts cool slightly and then eat them!

a slice of cheese tart ready to eat


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Other appetizer recipes you might enjoy:

  • how to create a perfect cheese board
  • onion and fig jam crostinis
  • beef carpaccio
  • coconut prawns with habanero dipping sauce
  • hot cheese dip with gruyere and prosciutto

If you’ve tried this tomato and cheese tart recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you!

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Cheese Tart with Tomatoes and a Herb and Cheddar Crust

This savory cheese tart is made with three kinds of cheese, fresh baby tomatoes, caramelized shallots and an easy herb and cheddar pastry crust.  An excellent tart to share with friends!  It can be made as a larger tart or smaller individual tarts.

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 1.5 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cold water

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 – 3 cups baby tomatoes
  • 1.5 boxes boursin cheese
  • 2 lemons (zested)
  • 7 large shallots (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • sprinkle maldon salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 4 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

MAKE THE PASTRY

  1. In a small bowl, add the egg yolk and break it up with a fork. Add the vinegar and the cold water. Set it in the fridge till you are ready so it stays cold

  2. In a stand mixer or in a food processor, add the flour, salt, baking powder, herbs and shredded cheddar cheese. Then add the cold butter. Pulse in your mixer till it resembles small peas. You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter. It just takes a little more work.

  3. Then add the cold liquid slowly and mix till just combined. Pour out on to a surface and mold the pastry into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. 1 hour is better.

  4. After an hour, roll out the pie crust so that it fits your tart pans. Drape the pastry over your tart pans and gently push the pastry into the corners and the bottom of the pans. Roll your rolling pin over the edges of your tart pan to cut off the extra pastry and make a perfect fit.  Put your pastry in the fridge for 30 mins before baking so it gets nice and cold again.

  5. When you are ready to bake them, place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry and fill each tart with pie weights. You can also use dried beans for this too! The weights make sure the shells will keep their shape when they bake.

  6. Bake the tart shells at 350 for about 10-12 mins for smaller tarts and 13 – 15 mins for larger tarts. Keep an eye on them though. You don’t want them getting too brown, especially on the edges. Its ok if the shells aren’t fully cooked. They are going to bake in the oven again.

MAKE THE FILLING

  1. While the tart shells are getting cold in the fridge or baking in the over, get your filling ready.  Get out a small skillet and heat it to med – low heat.  Add the sliced shallots and butter to the pan and cook, stirring every once in a while until they get nice and soft and browned.  Then let them cool.

  2. Add the boursin cheese to a bowl and grate the zest of the lemon onto the boursin. Then give it a good mix. A micro planer like this is the best for grating citrus zest.  Wash and slice your baby tomatoes in half.

ASSEMBLE THE TARTS

  1. Into the baked tart shells add the filling.  First spread the boursin mixture on the bottom of the shell.  You need just a thin layer but make sure the bottom is covered completely.  Maybe a 1/4 inch thick.   

  2. Next spread the shallots on top. You can put as many or as little as you like, but make sure you have enough for all the tarts.  Cover the shallots with shredded cheddar cheese. Just a thin layer again.

  3. Place the baby tomato halves on top of the cheddar cheese in a single layer.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme and maldon salt. 

BAKE THE TARTS

  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees and bake your tarts for 25 – 30 mins.  If the edges of the tart shells get too browned, put a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on top of the tarts and that will help prevent them from burning. 

  2. When they come out of the oven, sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese and chopped basil.  Let the finished tarts cool slightly and then eat them! 

 

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