Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Savory Pies and Tarts»Italian»Vegetables»Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Tart Recipe

Tired of tomato tarts with soggy crusts and long preparation times? We experiment with "waterproofing" store-bought puff pastry to solve both problems.

The Problem

Falling somewhere in between pizza and quiche, tomato and mozzarella tart shares the flavors of both but features problems unique unto itself. For starters, this is not fast food, as some sort of pastry crust is required. Second, the moisture in the tomatoes almost guarantees a soggy crust. Third, tomato tarts are often tasteless, their spectacular open faces offering false promises.

The Goal

A recipe that could easily be made at home with a solid bottom crust and great vine-ripened flavor.

The Solution

Use a two-step baking method for a flaky yet rigid crust, then "waterproof" it with egg wash and layers of two kinds of cheese. Salt the sliced tomatoes for 30 minutes to remove excess juice, then gently press with paper towels. Bake the assembled tart at 425 degrees to quickly melt the cheese and preserve the tomatoes' meaty texture.