If you don’t have a wood-fired barbecue, just roast the tomatoes in the oven and use a little apple wood smoked sea salt (or similar) to give you that rich smoky flavour.
- 600-700g (2 bunches) small-to-medium, ripe truss tomatoes
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes or apple wood smoked sea salt*
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly copped
- 150g fresh ricotta
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 2 large (about 70g each) free-range eggs
- 2 sheets good-quality puff pastry
- 50g hard sheep’s milk cheese, crumbled
- Green salad, to serve (optional)
*Available at gourmet food stores and speciality spice shops
Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Top with a second sheet of foil. Place tomatoes and a few thyme sprigs on foil. Fold up edges of foil so tomatoes are almost enclosed (this will contain juices). Leave top open so tomatoes absorb smoky flavours and roast rather than stew, as you want them to hold shape. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and oil.
If using a wood or kettle barbecue, start fire 30 minutes before cooking tomatoes so they cook slowly over a low fire of hot coals to which you can add wood chips, or woody rosemary sprigs, for extra smoke and flavour. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Place foil pouch containing tomatoes on grill. Cook for 15-45 minutes or until tomatoes are caramelised but still hold their shape. Alternatively, preheat oven to 175°C. Sprinkle tomatoes with apple wood smoked sea salt. Place foil pouch on baking tray and roast for 30 minutes or until caramelised.
Make filling and assemble
Whisk together garlic, ricotta and crème fraîche in a bowl until combined. Season to taste with sea salt. Add eggs and beat until combined. Set aside at room temperature until required. Preheat oven to 175°C. Lightly grease a 30cm x 10cm tart pan with removable base. Place pastry sheet side by side, with edges overlapping slightly, on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out gently, focusing on join, to make 1 large pastry sheet. Line prepared pan with pastry and trim any excess. Place pan on a baking tray. Crumble sheep’s milk cheese over base of tart case. Top with 2-3 of remaining thyme sprigs. Pour crème fraîche mixture into tart case. (Ideally you should see a little of cheese and thyme poking out). Top with a few remaining thyme sprigs if desired.
Bake and serve
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges of pastry are browned and filling is just set (filling will continue to cook a little after tart is removed from oven). Cool for 10 minutes. Remove tart from pan and transfer to serving platter. Top with smoked truss tomatoes. Pour any tomato juices into a serving jug. Serve tart with tomato juices and a green salad, if desired.
Recipe by Tamsin Carvan from