Friday, November 4, 2011

Green Tomato and Gooseberry Tart - a dessert fit for the Whistle Stop Café

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My very promising tomato crop suffered a miserable “summer”. The entire ripe harvest from three sturdy plants yielded 4 cherry tomatoes. And I don’t mean 4 pounds, I mean 4 actual cherry tomatoes - although they were divinely sweet and tasty. Without sunshine, I am left with an abundance of green tomatoes.

Excuse me! Could you point the way to the Whistle Stop Café?

Before “The Recession”, I might have thrown them on the compost heap, but my War On Waste philosophy (WOW) now digs at my conscience. Sooooo… what to make with these sharp tangy fruits. Chutney? Pickle? Ketchup? The smell of simmering vinegar puts me off making these preserves, lovely and all as they are.



I experimented with green tomato jam and ended up with a conserve by mistake. The taste was similar to gooseberry mixed with elderflower and yet it had a flavour all its own and definitely warranted further experimentation, hence this tart.

For 8-10 servings you will need...

Sweet Pastry
175g butter
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 egg, beaten
260g plain flour

1                 Using a stand mixer (or a large bowl and plenty of elbow grease) cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest. When light and fluffy and paler in colour, mix in the beaten egg and continue beating until combined. Add the flour and mix until it forms a soft paste. Shape the paste into a ball using floured hands. Flatten into a disc about 2.5cm thick (1 inch) and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
2                 Roll out the chilled pastry until you have a circular shape about 28cm (11 inches) in diameter. Use to line a 23cm (9 inch) tart tin (I use a loose-bottomed tin as I find it easier to remove the pie from the tin before serving). If any holes develop, simply use excess pastry to patch them up, pressing firmly into place – it’s a very forgiving pastry. Remove any excess pastry by running the rolling pin over the top of the lined tin. Chill for a further 30 minutes.
3                 Pre-heat your oven to 170°C. Remove the tart shell from the fridge and prick lightly with a fork. Bake blind by lining the shell with aluminium foil or greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic baking beans. (You could also use dried beans and store them in a jar specifically for this purpose).
4                 Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake the tart shell in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Green Tomato and Gooseberry Tart - WOW!

Green Tomato and Gooseberry Filling

250g green tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
200g gooseberries, topped and tailed
50mls fresh orange juice
50g runny honey (or caster sugar)

4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
150mls double cream
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C

1                 Place the green tomatoes and gooseberries in a medium saucepan and add the orange juice. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. These can be cooked and cooled ahead of time so that when your pastry shell is ready to be filled, you can go right ahead.
2                 Drain the cooked fruit and arrange the pieces in the cooled pastry shell.
3                 Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, orange zest, until thick and creamy.
4                 Whisk in the double cream and cinnamon until combined with the egg mixture. Pour over the fruit in the tart shell.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 - 45 minutes or until the surface is golden and the tart is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tin.



The pastry is very 'short' with a wonderful orange zing and the tart is creamy, sweet, sharp and delicious. I used a combination of tomatoes and gooseberries but it would work with tart apples if you don't have gooseberries.
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31 comments:

Grubarazzi said...

This is gorgeous. I can imagine how this tastes. Great job! btw I found you through facebook because I can never post a comment through foodbuzz, for some odd reason.

Cucina49 said...

Those green tomatoes are beautiful! Fried green tomatoes at the whistle Stop Cafe, indeed.

firefoodie said...

What a unique recipe! Green tomatoes and gooseberries? amazing.

Tina said...

I am beginning to think green tomatoes are illegal here-can't find them anywhere. You are lucky to have access to both these green goodies! I am sure this combo makes for an amazing flavorful tart-it looks heavenly.

Kristin said...

We got a cheap greenhouse at Homebase this year and had some good success with tomatoes and peppers, but before that, I'd given up on being able to grow tomatoes - like you, I'd only end up with half a dozen, and that's if we were lucky!

Lizzy said...

What a fabulous tart...I'd probably have to use tart apples, but I'd really love to find some gooseberries!

Sarah said...

Lovely recipe! We had a similar tomato season around here so this is just perfect!

Ann said...

This is such a creative recipe! I am really bad at growing things, so with my luck, I'd only have 3 tomatoes!

Beautifully done and that's what the US Marines would call "Maximum Utilization of Available Resources". It was a motto we lived by!

galit said...

What a great idea for all those green tomatoes (thanks to my mother-in-law, I've got about 12 tumbler tomato plants in the greenhouse, loaded with green tomatoes, that I expect will never go red - how do you reckon it would be without the gooseberries (husband has great

WiseMóna said...

Hester,
What beautiful shots. I love the glass jar with the green tomatoes. If you still have lots left over you can put them in a cardboard box with layers of newspaper and put them in a dark place. They will 'ripen' and even have flavour. That being said, your conserve sounds so flavourful I will have to try it because we just cleared out the tunnel and have a lot of green tomatoes!

Jill Colonna said...

Hester, now that's what I call putting on the WOW factor! Love the combination and drooling just thinking of the tart orange and taste sensations. Can just imagine these 4 lovely wee cherry toms. I had the same last year but don't think I did as well as you - and didn't even get to taste one, boohoo. Green tomatoes, eh? I'm planting in prep for this tart!

Rosemary said...

Genius! And I'm right with you about WOW -- I did end up making chutney with my surfeit of green tomatoes, all because I hate to waste. This tart looks wonderful, though, a great reason to make sure you have extra tomatoes at the end of season.

Carolyn said...

What an interesting recipe! We had a summer like that last year, and ended up with tons of green tomatoes (I made soup). This year, we had ripe tomatoes up until almost the end of October!

Brownieville Girl said...

What a genius idea - I don't have access to any green tomatoes (I am the kiss of death to any living plant!!) but really fancy this with all gooseberries.

Sharon said...

Tomatoes in a sweet tart - I love it!

Stephanie said...

This tart is so pretty!!

Stef said...

I have an absolute heap of green tomatoes myself, where did you get he gooseberries at this time of year, have only ever found them in July.

Parsley Sage said...

...I'm wondering if this is sweet or savory. I'm tomato-clueless because of 'texture' issues but I know darn good looking recipe when I see it! CK would love this :)

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said...

I love green tomato anything! Love the addition of gooseberries. I bet this would be amazing breakfast-style with some spicy sausage.

MyFudo™ said...

What a brilliant idea! I love your WOW! War on Waste is what the world really needs. I bet if everyone does her share to minimize waste then everything will have food on the table.
Those green tomatoes are so cute. I am willing to try this recipe at home. Surely the kids will love this!

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Hester...what a GORGEOUS tart! I can imagine, the tomatoes, as they cook lend a very sweet and tart taste! You did a great job in rethinking the use of those tomatoes! I'm with you on the 'WOW' campaign. I will use everything for something! May your tomato crop be ten times greater next year! : )

Spicie Foodie said...

Hester your tart looks so yummy! Love the tomato gooseberry combo. Sorry to hear about the bad tomato crop but it's great for you to have put them to use regardless. Even before the recession I've always been in a mindset to waste as little as possible. I guess my Mom's constant reminder of starving people in the world worked.
Have you ever heard of fried green tomatoes? They taste so good. If you have any left perhaps you want to try it. Have a beautiful Sunday:)

Koci said...

This sounds like such a cool combination! I would have never thought to use green tomatoes in a tart. Yum!

Tiffany said...

This is so creative! :D

Celia said...

Nice job on the top 9! I love the resourcefulness you brought to this dish - and the Fried Green Tomatoes reference. Such a cool sweet-savory crossover!

Catherine said...

Love gooseberries, this is one I'll be trying.

Erica said...

That's an interesting idea. I never would have thought of making a dessert with green tomatoes.

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

What a beautiful tart! I would never think to make green tomatoes sweet. My brother just gave me a ton of them and I'm looking for something to do. This looks so good~

yumbolicious said...

Such an interesting recipe; certainly looks delicious! Tomatoes in a dessert, who would have thunk it?!

Lilly said...

At first I thought you were making some picked tomatoes, but this is a much better idea. Great save of the tomatoes from the garbage bin. I like your no waste rule.

Magic of Spice said...

So creative Hester...and so gorgeous! I must try this combination,
lovely :)