Caprese salads, with its mix of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Yum.
But as a sweet tart?
Anyone who knows me well knows I love to create pastries that walk the line between familiar and exotic, between sweet and savory. My favorite creations leave you with a slightly puzzled expression on your face, where you know that what you’ve just eaten is delicious, but you’re unsure how to categorize it.
This Caprese Tart was inspired all from the honey. Matthew, who works at Bee Local Honey company, where we get all our honey for the bakery, gave me a little sample of their new Hot Honey after I tried it for the first time at Feast Portland, (a giant food and drink festival that benefits Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry).
The honey is delicious: warm and spicy with scorpion chiles, but with a heat that dissipates after a few seconds in the back of your throat. I immediately began thinking about creating a sweet and savory tart using the honey as a sweetener.
You can make and bake the crust ahead of time, but I urge you to not assemble the tart until the day you’re serving. And let me warn you once again, I served this to my husband and his friend, and both of them agreed it was delicious, but that they couldn’t figure out if it was supposed to be an appetizer, or a dessert. Either way, they both wanted a second piece.
Guess that means success!
- 1 baked and cooled 9" tart crust
- 6 medium tomatoes (I used the tomatoes on the vine, but find really ripe ones!)
- 5 ounces Bee Local Hot Honey
- 2 ounces sugar
- 4 ounces sugar
- 2 ounces water
- 2 ounces egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese (I like Chevre)
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons packed chopped basil (or use 2 cubes of Dorot Basil)
- 1 tablespoon Bee Local Hot Honey
- 2 packed teaspoons finely chopped basil (or 2 more Dorot Basil cubes)
- Preheat the oven to 425˚. Line a large baking pan with parchment baking paper.
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on the baking pan. Drizzle the tops of the tomatoes with the Hot Honey, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Roast until the tomatoes are starting to shrivel a bit and dry out, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Make the Basil Cream while the tomatoes are roasting.
- In a small sauce pot, combine 4 oz sugar with 2 oz water and stir together. The mixture should resemble very wet sand. With a clean wet pastry brush, brush down the insides of the pot to ensure there are no sugar crystals present. Heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches 248˚.
- Meanwhile, in a clean dry mixing bowl fitted with a whip attachment, whip together the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until medium peaks form.
- When the sugar syrup is at temp, slowly add into the whipping egg whites. Let the sugar and egg whites whip together until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch, about 4 minutes.
- Add in the goat cheese in small chunks. This will deflate the whipping egg whites and cause them to look wetter. Don't worry about this. It's normal!
- Add in the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and basil and whip on high speed until the cream comes together and looks thick and has a uniform texture.
- Stir together the honey and the basil. Yep. That's all you have to do!
- Spread 3/4 of the Basil Goat Cheese cream over the baked and cooled tart crust. Using a baby offset spatula, flatten the cream filling. Layer the roasted tomato slices over the top of the Basil Goat Cheese cream, and drizzle the Honey Basil syrup over the top of the tomatoes. Using a ziplock bag or a piping bag, add a border of the reserved Basil Goat Cheese cream, piping it in any way you choose!
- Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
- This would be just as delicious with roasted peach or mango slices if you prefer a sweeter variation to the tomato topping!