Tomato tart featuring Comté cheese and the crunchy heat of black pepper A simple and elegant vegetarian quiche

Tomato tart with Comté and cracked black pepper

The best summer tart you’ve ever had may also be the simplest

The flavors in this elegant summer tart are straightforward: Comté (the astoundingly flavorful raw-milk cheese from Jura), tomatoes and cracked pepper… lots of cracked pepper! Ingredient-wise, this is definitely a case of “less is more”: The tart highlights the cheese’s amazing richness, the tomatoes’ natural sweetness and the black pepper’s crunchy heat – and it’s all encased in the most crumbly tart crust you can imagine. Needless to say, the tart is best made when tomatoes are at their most flavorful, from mid-summer until early fall.

“Not your boring old quiche!”

Although the tart looks beautiful (and a bit less conventional) in a square mold, I’ve also provided instructions for using a round mold.

Simple, elegant and luxurious… as my husband Marc said when he first tasted it, “This is not your boring old quiche!”

Raw milk Comté

Food & wine pairing: Jura, Poulsard or Trousseau with tomato and Comté tart

Red wine iconSince Comté is the trademark cheese of the Jura region in France, why not pair this tart with a wine from Jura, too? And Jura makes some very interesting (albeit lesser known) reds. Try a Poulsard or a Trousseau – both wines are medium-bodied, pale and perfumed, but filled with fresh fruit (and sometimes gamey notes) and a hint of peppercorn in the finish. They are superb with this tart. Alternatively, pour a Burgundy-style Pinot Noir or a Bardolino from Verona, Italy.

Tomato tart with Comté and cracked black pepper

makes 1 large tart or serves 4 to 6
active time: 1 hr (includes making the tart shell)

  1. 1 recipe Parmesan tart crust (made with walnuts instead of pine nuts/almonds) – baked blind into a 9″ x 9″ square tart shell (for a 10″ round tart shell, see Viviane’s tip)
  2. 2 large ripe (but firm) beefsteak tomatoes
  3. 1 extra large egg
  4. 3 extra large egg yolks
  5. 1 cup heavy cream
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 8 oz (225 g) Comté – coarsely grated (aged Gruyère is a good substitute) (2 1/2 cups loosely packed)
  9. sea salt to taste
  10. 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked Tellicherry black peppercorns

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Step 1: Make this tart shell recipe using a 9″ x 9″ square mold, but replace the pine nuts/almonds with walnut pieces. Shape the dough in a 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ square. Cover and refrigerate as per the instructions, then roll the dough into an 11″ x 11″ square and proceed with the recipe. While the tart shell is baking, prepare the tomatoes and the custard.
  3. Step 2: Using a mandoline, cut the tomatoes crosswise in 10 slices, 1/4″ thick. (You’ll only use 1 1/2 tomatoes.) Alternatively, you can use a very sharp knife – but try to cut the tomato slices as evenly as you can. Place the slices in a single layer on paper towels and top with another paper towel. Lightly press with your hand, so that the paper towel is in contact with the whole surface of the tomato slices, and let stand for 15 minutes. (This will blot out some of the moisture.)
  4. Step 3: Place the egg and eggs yolks in a medium bowl and lightly whisk. Add the cream, milk and salt and whisk again until well blended. Set aside. When the tart shell is baked and has slightly cooled, spread the grated cheese into it. Top with the tomatoes, arranging the slices in two rows (5 slices per row) and slightly overlapping them. Drizzle with the custard and press the tomato slices slightly into the filling. Sprinkle with the sea salt and cracked black pepper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until puffed up and golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before un-molding and serving. The tart is best served warm, not hot.
  5. Cook’s note: The tart can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. To serve, reheat the tart in a 375ºF (190ºC) oven for 6 to 8 minutes until just warm. Refrigerating the tart will make the dough soggy.

Beefsteak tomato

Viviane’s tip
  1. If you’re using a 10″ round mold to make this tart, arrange the tomato slices in a circle, overlapping the slices, as below.

Tomato tart with Comté and cracked black pepper

quiche, tart, tomato, comté cheese

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  • Reply Jason September 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    What a beautiful tart. It sounds absolutely lovely. We’re getting gobs of heirloom tomatoes here in Oregon right now. Many have just a hint of sour to them. Would these work with the Comte cheese?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre September 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Absolutely, Jason… any heirlooms would work here, just make sure to blot out the moisture thoroughly (as show in the video), otherwise the tart will turn out soggy. Heirlooms are notorious for being much more watery than regular beefsteak tomatoes. Happy baking!

  • Reply julia September 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply Deb|EastofEdenCooking September 16, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    What a gorgeous tart! My tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and they deserve to be included in this fantastic recipe! If only summer would last a bit longer….

  • Reply Cooking With Munira September 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Wow , just wow , I love what you done here , i have to try this fast !

  • Reply Wendie September 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    OMGosh so divine! Just had a slice with some rose on the deck outside. Comte is just wonderful…I’m so glad I tried this cheese! Daughter is a vegetarian so we’re all happy. As beautiful as it is delicious :0) Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre September 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Wendie, thank you so much for your sweet note – you just made my day!!!

  • Reply Evelyne@cheapethniceatz September 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Just a gorgeous tart, the presentation is beautiful and I love all cheeses, Comté is a great choice.

  • Reply lisaiscooking August 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I attempted a tomato tart with Comte a few years ago, and dropped it upside down on the floor when taking it out of the oven! I need to give it another try–with steadier hands 😉 This is beautiful, and the black pepper sounds delicious.

  • Reply Daniela August 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    This tarte looks fantastic and the combination of tomatoes with Comté is fantastic!

  • Reply RavieNomNoms August 21, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    WOW!! This is absolutely stunning. I mean just breathtaking pictures first off. Not to mention a delicious looking recipe! Perfection in my book!

  • Reply Liz August 19, 2015 at 12:13 am

    What gorgeous tarts!!! So much better than any quiche I could imagine :)

  • Reply Madonna August 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This looks scrumptious. I love your recipes. I love Comté cheese. It tastes nutty to me. I have found it at Trader Joes. I will look for the wine also.

  • Reply Kathy September 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    This tart looks fabulously delicious!! I just made a tomato tart this week. I have so many tomatoes coming in right now…I see another one in my future! Your tart looks like a perfect way to use some of those tomatoes up! I love how the cracked black pepper looks on top!

    • Reply Viviane September 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy! Enjoy making this tart… and enjoy your tomatoes! I am also drowning in heirloom tomatoes right now. Such bounty!

  • Reply Masha September 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I made this for a family dinner yesterday. It was a HUGE success! My Mom called it a “masterpiece”. Thank you so much for your recipes Viviane. I’m becoming your number 1 fan! Your videos are truly invaluable. You can see a picture on our Cooking Chicks page:

    • Reply Viviane September 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Masha! I am so very proud of you! The photo of your tart is stunning… You put a very big smile on my face and a ray of sunshine in my heart. Thank you for your comment and for letting me know how “your masterpiece” tuned out! Keep cooking… keep enjoying… and I’ll keep the recipes and videos coming!

  • Reply mjskit August 17, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    What a gorgeous quiche!! I’m pinning this because once I get enough homegrown tomatoes, I will be making it. I’m not sure where I’ll be able to find Comte’ cheese, but I bet the co-op I shop at has it. It has a great cheese selection. Thanks for sharing such an delectable dish!

    • Reply Viviane August 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Hi Mj, You are most welcome… I do hope you can find Comté. It’s such a special cheese! If you have a Whole Foods near you, they would have it. Happy baking!

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes August 17, 2014 at 5:52 am

    It looks so rich, creamy and mouthwatering…a wonderful tart recipe to celebrate the season, Viviane. I must look for some raw milk cheese to try.

    • Reply Viviane August 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thank you, Angie! This tart is also good with Gruyère, which is a bit easier to find than Comté. Of course, a raw-milk Gruyère that’s cave-aged is even better!

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