tomato & tart.

One thing I miss most about living with other people (besides from, you know, the people themselves. Like, a tiny bit, whatever, being nice to people is so tedious) is having someone around to justify my cooking decisions. I'll explain: you know those days when you're just overcome with the uncontrollable desire to bake a triple layer vegan coconut cream cake? (We all have those days, right. Right? Okay, well, I have these days). Or even those times you're experimenting with a recipe and it becomes crucially necessary to make four separate quarter-batches of cookies to test the differences between vegan egg replacers; and don't try to tell me this doesn't happen to everyone. I said don't

Well, now I have a problem that I have literally never had before.

A distinct shortage of taste-testers.

Sometimes, I can get round this by freezing things in individual portions , or taking a tupperware of cookies into work. Other things just aren't practical to transport - we meet again, layer cakes - or else I find myself with a batch of twelve cookies, for example: there aren't enough to take into the office for everyone, but it is apparently not socially acceptable to eat twelve cookies by myself. Do you know how much I miss pie? I miss pie. What would I do with a pie if I made one? This is not feasible

This tart happened in a rebellious moment of pastry, and the good news is that it's pretty flexible. You can totally freeze individual slices, you can eat it for lunch or dinner - or breakfast, I suppose, if you're someone who likes a savoury breakfast, which... I'm afraid I can't support - and if there's a better way of using tiny, adorable tomatoes in sunshine-yellow and orange and bruise-purple, then I haven't come across it. In fact, there isn't much this tart can't do, apart from "be cut while still entirely frozen without snapping your bread knife". 

Not that I know that one from experience.

So basically: I need your ideas. Or else I need a few of you to show up in Nagasaki toting fresh fruit and brown sugar. There must be single- or two-person bakers out there; how do you deal with this problem?

Tomato & Basil Cream Tart with Walnut Pastry


220g (1 1/2c.) flour
60g (1/2c.) walnuts
1/2 tsp salt
110g (1 stick) vegan margarine, cut into cubes
1-2 Tbsp water

In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients together briefly to combine. Scatter the margarine over the top and pulse until it is coarsely cut in. Add a little water and process in longer pulses until the dough starts to clump together and the sound of the machine changes - you may need a little more water. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Optional: chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for an hour or two if you want to make it easier to roll; I didn't bother.

I always roll pastry between two sheets of floured clingfilm (plastic wrap), which saves a lot of mess. Roll it to around a 12" circle, and place in a 9" removable-bottomed cake or tart tin. Seal up any cracks and fold over the overhang, to strengthen the sides of your tart case. Pierce all over with a fork. Leave in the freezer for  30 minutes before baking.

To parbake the crust: heat oven to 190C (375F). Butter (with vegan margarine!) the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. This can now be baked without weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for around 25-30 minutes (remove the foil for the last five minutes to all it to brown). Allow to cool.


225g (8oz) smooth tofu
1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp soy milk
salt & pepper
1/2c. fresh basil
1/4c. nutritional yeast
a couple of handfuls of mixed tomatoes, sliced

Whizz everything but the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth and a fabulous shade of pale green. Pour into the tart crust & cover with sliced or halved tomatoes. Bake at 190C for a length of time that I have neglected to write down in my notes for this recipe - 20 minutes? - until the filling is firm but jiggly (you know what I mean). I ate this cold, but I don't see why it wouldn't work straight from the oven if you gave it five minutes before cutting into it. Eat, and be happy.


  1. I cook for boys, in their kitchen; there is never anything left over. Or, I end up packaging it in boxes and feeding the (male and female) water polo teams. Or I freeze in portions for meeeeeee :)

    S xx

    p.s. definitely using the recipe as nice summer food!

  2. Regarding gifting baked goods, I think there's two options: (1) Go into stealth mode. Find yourself a high-tech black spy suit and meet up with a friend or coworker outside of the fragile, why-did-they-get-tomato-tart-and-not-meeee atmosphere and gift the goodies then. Or, (2) Make up some sort of nonexistent holiday back home when each coworker only gets two bites of the pie each. Tell them it was a beloved tradition amongst the vegan residents of Shakespeare's home village.

  3. I made a pie and ate it all week. That was a good week. I fed some to the boyfriend as well. But mostly I ate it...for breakfast too. I <3 pie and youu.

  4. These photos are so wonderful!

  5. you really have an amazing talent...your photos are beautiful !


© papillon.Maira Gall