Tomato, mozzarella and basil tarts

Tomato, mozzarella and basil tarts
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Takes 55 minutes to make

This easy recipe for tomato, mozzarella and basil tarts results in a soft, cheesy tomato filling and crispy, flaky pastry base with the beautiful taste of the basil herb.

Ingredients

  • 200g shortcrust pastry (see recipe)
  • 4 tsp green pesto
  • 8-12 slices mozzarella
  • 4 slices beef tomato
  • Few slivers finely sliced garlic
  • Few fresh small basil leaves
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method

  1. On a sheet of baking paper, roll out the pastry until it is 3mm thick. Put the tartlet tin on top and use a knife to cut out 4 circles of pastry about 3cm wider than the tin.
  2. Carefully lift up the pastry rounds and put them into each tin. Ease it into the corners, then use your finger to gently press the pastry into the edges. Roll a rolling pin over the top of the tartlet tin to neaten and trim off the edges, then prick the base with a fork – this will stop air bubbles forming during baking.
  3. To make sure the pastry case is crisp, you have to part-bake it before it is filled. (See our how-to video below) Put a square of baking paper onto the pastry in each tin, then tip in some baking beans, dried chickpeas or dry rice to weigh down the paper.
  4. Put the tartlet tins on a baking tray and chill for 15 minutes (this will make sure the pastry doesn’t shrink as it cooks). Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/ gas 7. Bake the tartlets for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is pale-golden.
  5. Lift the tray out of the oven, carefully remove the paper and beans, and set the tartlet cases aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
  6. Spread 1 tsp pesto into each pastry tartlet cases, then arrange 2-3 mozzarella pieces and 1 slice tomato on top. Add  garlic, some salt and ground black pepper, then finish with 2-3 basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Return the tartlet cases to the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
  8. Remove the tartlets from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Remove the tarts from the tins onto a serving plate, then eat while warm.

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