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Gluten Free Tart Crust | Savory Tomato Tart

June 9, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

A rich gluten free tart crust makes a flaky and delicate canvas for any filling. Here, we’re making a savory gluten free tomato tart with sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and shredded cheese.

Prep / Cook Time

25 minutes / 30 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (8 votes)
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Gluten Free Tart Crust | Savory Tomato Tart

A rich, flaky gluten free tart crust filled with garden tomatoes, fresh basil, and shredded cheese, baked to perfection, and served at warm room temperature.

Overhead image of tomato tart on white serving plate with two traingular slices cut and one slice on a small white plate with whole tomatoes and a dark gray cloth

What makes this gf tart recipe special?

There are two important things about this recipe, and you won’t want to miss either one. 

First, it uses tons of summer tomatoes. Second, you’ll learn how to make an extra-rich savory gluten free tart crust that you’ll be looking for more reasons to bake with.

Late summer means plenty of zucchini, demanding to be used. It also means that tomatoes are cheap, and fabulous. If you’re like me, your garden’s tomato plants have been struggling valiantly to bear ripe fruit all summer that they are only now beginning to provide.

You could easily use my basic gluten free pie crust recipe as a tart crust, but I prefer a slightly different recipe for rich savory tart crust. The secret’s in the egg yolk, which makes for a richer crust that browns and flakes for a crust that’s almost shortbread-like, but savory.

One great thing about baking tomatoes is that the less-than-perfect-ones (and when you grow them yourself, that’s what they look like!) are perfect for this.

And with all that cheese and fresh basil, even though my oldest child swears she does not eat cooked tomatoes unless they are blended into tomato sauce was begging for more.

Raw savory tart crust draped over round tart pan with rolling pin on gray surface

How to make this rich gf tart crust

This tart crust is a rolled-out pastry crust, not a press-in crust. It doesn’t have to be par-baked before it’s filled, and it still turns out super flaky and layered.

Like all pastry, the crust is made by keeping all of your ingredients cold while you work with them. You’ll begin with chunks of cold butter that are tossed in the dry ingredients and flattened so that they can be combined into the dough properly.

The main difference with this tart crust as compared to our gf pie crust recipes is that it has an egg yolk whisked into the cold water that brings the dough together. That adds richness and helps the crust brown even without baking it on its own before adding the fillings.

Overhead image of raw tart crust in pan with scraps on sides of pan

Is tart crust the same as pie crust?

Tart crust is very similar to pie crust, but isn’t exactly the same. The egg yolk in this crust super rich and so flaky it’s almost crumbly, like a shortcrust pastry.

A tart pan is helpful, but not essential. A tart pan has shorter sides than a pie pan, and a somewhat exaggerated fluted edge.

Tart pans typically come in two parts, with a separate rim and a removable bottom. That allows you to remove the baked tart from the pan easily.

Unlike a pie, which can usually be sliced into portions right in the pie pan, with its lower sides, a tart is typically sliced on its own. Simply press up on the bottom and you’ll separate the tart from the rim. Remove the bottom, and slide the tart onto a cutting surface.

Overhead image of unbaked tomato tart on brown paper on metal baking sheet

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

If you can’t have dairy, you’ll need to replace the butter in the tart crust, and the cheese in the filling. For the butter, to make dairy-free pastry of any kind, I usually begin with Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening since it’s solid at cool room temperature and is pure fat.

Shortening does get rock hard when it’s very cold, so don’t chill the chopped shortening for too long before making the tart crust, or before it’s shaped. Otherwise, the shortening will become super hard, which makes it difficult to flatten and roll out properly.

In place of the shredded Gruyère cheese, I’d recommend trying Violife brand dairy free cheese. Violife makes different varieties of block dairy free cheese that shreds and melts.

Overhead image of whole baked tomato tart with whole tomatoes and basil leaves

Egg

The egg yolk adds richness to the tart crust, helps it brown in the oven, and even makes the crust a bit flakier without using sour cream like in our extra flaky gluten free pie crust. If you can’t have egg yolks, you can try adding a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in its place.

If you can’t have the egg white that we use to brush the raw top of the tart crust after it’s pierced with a fork, you can try brushing the crust with a bit of cream. I haven’t tried either of these egg replacements, so you’ll have to experiment.


Sliced tomato tart on brown paper and a black board with pie server, basil leaves and tomatoes

Tomato tart on white plate
Words gluten free savory tomato tart on image of tomato tart on white serving dish partially sliced

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 12-inch tart

Ingredients

For the savory tart crust
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (my Better Than Cup4Cup blend is best, but see Recipe Notes for more information), plus more for dusting

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped (into large chunks) and chilled

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), separated

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) cold water, plus more by the half-teaspoon as necessary

For the filling
6 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (or another semi-hard cheese)

1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes (preferably a mix of beefsteak and plum), sliced 1/4 inch thick, about half seeds from each slice removed

12 leaves fresh basil

1 1/2 tablespoons (21 g) extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • First, make the tart crust. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients. Press each floured chunk of butter between a floured thumb and forefinger to flatten.

  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk (reserve the white) and 1/2 cup cold water until well combined. Create a well in the center of the large bowl of dry ingredients, add the egg yolk and water mixture and mix to combine. The dough will come together.

  • If there are any very crumbly bits, add more ice water by the tablespoon and mix to combine. Knead the dough together lightly just enough to press it into a disk.

  • Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover and press into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  • Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set it aside.

  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Dust the surface with a bit more flour, and roll it out with a rolling pin into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, dust again lightly with flour, and roll the dough out again into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle.

  • Once more, fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, and then fold again widthwise to create a thick square. Dust the square lightly with flour, and roll the dough out into a round that is about 14-inches in diameter.

  • Transfer the round of dough to the prepared tart pan, and press it gently into the bottom and the sides of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough flush with the upper edge of the sides of the pan.

  • Pierce the bottom of the tart crust with the tines of a fork about 20 times. Brush the bottom surface of the crust generously with the egg white. Place the crust in the freezer until firm (about 5 minutes).

  • Once the crust has chilled, remove it from the freezer, and fill it. Scatter about half of the grated cheese in an even layer over the bottom of the crust. Place the tomato slices in a tight but even layer on top of the grated cheese. Scatter the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes.

  • Drizzle the filling evenly with the olive oil, sprinkle evenly with the salt, and cover with the remaining grated cheese in an even layer. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Place the baking sheet with the tart on it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake until the tomatoes are soft, and the crust is an even, golden brown (about another 25 minutes).

  • Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tart pan. Slice and serve at warm room temperature.

  • The tart can be covered and refrigerated for a couple days before serving. Warm in a 250°F oven before serving.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2013. Core recipe unchanged; photos, video, and most text new.

Love,
Nicole

  • Alice
    June 14, 2021 at 9:39 AM

    Oh my oh my! I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks so delicious! I will wait for my fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden. Thank you for such a lovely recipe Nicole.

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 14, 2021 at 11:59 AM

      You’re very welcome, Alice. We have basil growing so far, but still waiting on those tomatoes. Fingers crossed!

  • Jeff Burke
    June 13, 2021 at 6:04 PM

    I got the tomato torte recipe emailed to me….thank you. I was really leery about making the crust dough. Well, it came together and was beautiful to work with. I was really surprised. To be honest, I did not have enough tomatoes on hand, so I added zucchini , mushrooms, some onions, garlic to make up the pound and half of required tomatoes. I absolutely loved it. It came out so wonderful looking…crust golden brown and the veg /cheese was all bubbly and perfectly cooked. It was delicious. The crust was so flakey and tender…nobody would think this was gluten free. Thank you Nicole! I am going to continue to use this crust recipe for other things.5 stars

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 14, 2021 at 8:14 AM

      I’m really glad you loved the crust, Jeff. It would be delicious with anything savory, for sure. And your filling additions sound delicious. Great substitutions!

  • Linda
    June 10, 2021 at 7:12 PM

    Wow, delicious! Just finished eating it for dinner and I had 1 slice while my husband whittled the rest of it down to 1 slice left and he wants it for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’d say it was a hit Nicole! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I made it exactly as the recipe stated except for an extra 5 minutes at 350 degrees, Jarlsberg cheese because it is more affordable and I used Cup4Cup because I’m lazy, lol.5 stars

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 11, 2021 at 7:50 AM

      That’s awesome, Linda! Jarlsberg is a perfect cheese choice. And Cup4Cup is great for pastry. Well done!

  • Rusty
    September 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    This was a huge hit today at brunch! And no one knew it was GF! I will def try to make it with zucchini next time. Am waiting impatiently for your new book to arrive! Thank you Nicole!

  • Chris Stephan
    September 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I made this tart last night for dinner. Was delicious! I used an all-purpose GF flour blend I had on hand, but will try it with the Better Than Cup4cup next time. The crust didn’t really get done as well as I would have liked. I also will try pre-baking it a bit before adding the filling. I also added some mozzarella cheese and a couple cloves of fresh garlic. Will definitely be making this again.

  • Swarna Mani
    August 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Beautiful looking tart. Is it good room temp?

    • Rusty
      September 4, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      Yes, it was delicious at room temp. Though I do prefer it warm :~)

  • Mare Masterson
    August 27, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Wow – how about a tomato/zucchini tart?

  • Jennifer Sasse
    August 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    This looks fantastically wonderfully yummy! It is perfect for meatless Mondays too! we are having a major heat snap but it will cool down on labor day Monday so this is going on the menu! yea!

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