A Café-Worthy End-of-Summer Treat: Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Tarts!
There are a few things I find really irresistible, but a beautiful pastry probably tops the list. What’s not to love about golden brown flaky-crisp layers, rich & buttery flavor, & whatever fillings your heart desires!? It’s my go-to treat when I’m out for coffee or want to splurge a little bit on a weekend brunch that feels extra special. And while it’s hard not to love a chocolatey or fruity pastry, savory pastries always steal the show. (Remember our Puff Pastry Breakfast Pizza?! 😍😋)
On a complete whim earlier this summer, I wanted to see if I could make simple savory pastries using summer tomatoes that were hanging around in my kitchen. I layered some shredded mozzarella & creamy Boursin cheese (a creamy cheese seasoned with garlic & herbs) over store-bought puff pastry, nestling a few colorful slices of heirloom tomatoes over top. They baked up beautifully into the most café-worthy tomato tartlets: golden brown, crisp, & cheesy, with the crave-worthy sweetness of heirloom tomatoes.
I’ve made these puff pastry tomato tarts a number of times in the time since. They’re a really fun late-summer treat, but they also double as a beautiful lunch or light dinner when you pair them with a simple salad. They are so good, so impressive, & honestly so simple to make.
Heirloom Tomato Tarts Recipe Highlights
You’ll LOVE these puff pastry tomato tarts because they’re….
- THE PERFECT SUMMER BITE. The most fun way to use your fresh end-of-summer tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes = a true seasonal superstar!
- SERIOUSLY CHEESY. Shredded mozzarella & crumbled Boursin cheese add a melty, cheesy touch to these simple puff pastry tarts and complement the fresh tomatoes perfectly.
- SO SIMPLE. With just 5 ingredients, these savory tarts could not be easier to throw together. They’re perfect as a quick snack, light lunch or dinner, or shareable for any late summer gathering with friends!
Totally easy, totally café-worthy. It doesn’t get better than that! ♡ Read on to learn more about these Puff Pastry Tomato Tarts, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Aside from their flavor, the reason I love these cheesy heirloom tomato tarts so much is their simplicity. They come together with just 5 simple ingredients. You need…
- Heirloom tomatoes – These special tomatoes grown from ‘heirloom’ seeds (meaning they haven’t been genetically modified over the years) are known for their flavor. They’re available in a variety of charming shapes & colors. For best results in this tomato tarts recipe, use smaller tomatoes, which are more concentrated in flavor & fit on the puff pastry a little more neatly.
- Puff pastry – Store-bought puff pastry dough is one of my freezer staples. You can find it in the dessert section of the freezer aisle at most conventional grocery stores, & having it on hand makes it really easy to make special little treats on a whim. Dufour is my preferred brand. Of course, if you’d like to go all-out, you can make homemade puff pastry for your tomato tarts too – this “Ruff Puff” recipe is great for beginners.
- Egg – Brushing the puff pastry tomato tarts with a quick egg wash helps them bake up with a café-worthy golden brown finish.
- Cheese – The best part. 😊 Shredded mozzarella melts beautifully without overpowering the tomato tarts, while Boursin is an all-in-one solution for creaminess & garlicky-herb flavor that complements the heirloom tomatoes.
Easy Cheesy Variations
An easy way to have fun with this puff pastry tomato tarts recipe is to swap out the cheeses with whatever you love most. Some ideas to get you started…
Simple swaps for shredded mozzarella. ⇢ Use whatever shredded melty cheese you love most. My top picks for a substitute are white cheddar, gouda, or gruyere.
Simple swaps for Boursin. ⇢ Use whatever spreadable creamy cheese you love most. Goat cheese is probably the closest swap for Boursin, though ricotta is a classic pairing for tomatoes. Whatever you choose, consider mixing some garlic (or garlic powder) & finely chopped fresh herbs to mimic the flavor of Boursin.
How to Make Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Tarts with Puff Pastry
Building off the simplicity of the ingredients list, these heirloom tomato tarts are really easy to throw together. They take less than 1 hour from start-to-finish, & most of the time spent is completely inactive as the tarts bake.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepare the heirloom tomatoes. Slice the heirloom tomatoes to about 1/4-inch thickness, then arrange them on paper towel & season generously with salt. Why? ⇢ Salt draws out the tomatoes’ excess moisture, which helps prevent the puff pastry tomato tarts from getting soggy as they bake. Instead, this quick step ensures they stay flaky & crisp!
Assemble the tomato tartlets. Roll out the puff pastry slightly, then slice into 8 individual rectangular tarts. Brush the edges of each with egg wash, then place the cheeses in the center & nestle a few slices of heirloom tomato over top. Tip! ⇢ For extra pretty tomato tartlettes, use a variety of different colors. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, you can layer 2-3 slices on each tomato tart.
Bake the tomato tarts on a rack positioned in the upper third of your oven until they’re flaky, golden, & crisp. Why? ⇢ Since warm air rises, the upper half of the oven tends to be a little warmer than the bottom. Baking the tomato tarts in the warmer zone helps ensure the puff pastry really explodes into the flaky-crisp layers we’re after here.
What to Serve with Tomato Tarts?
Allow the tomato tarts to cool for a few minutes after they come out of the oven, giving everything the chance to set a little. From there, they’re ready to enjoy!
Serving Suggestions. ⇢ While these tomato tarts are great as-is, I think there are 2 non-negotiable finishing touches: flaky sea salt & fresh basil. Flaky sea salt adds a little crunchy texture & helps all the flavors pop to life, while fresh basil adds an aromatic summery flavor that ties everything together.
Simple Side Dishes. ⇢ While I like to enjoy these heirloom tomato tarts all on their own, they pair beautifully with an abundant seasonal salad (try this one or this one!) or something like a simple green salad tossed with a light & zippy vinaigrette. You really can’t go wrong!
Storage & Reheating
Puff pastry tomato tarts are best enjoyed fresh, while the cheese is still melty & the pastry is still crisp. That said, leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Leftovers are best enjoyed cold or at room temperature. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
I can’t wait for you to try these Heirloom Tomato Tarts! They are totally café-worthy but so simple to throw together. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love them just as much as we do!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
More Recipes Like This:
Summer Tomato Recipes 🍅
Beautiful pastries are one of my all-time favorite treats. After all, what’s not to love about golden brown flaky-crisp layers, rich & buttery flavor, & whatever fillings your heart desires!? These Heirloom Tomato Tarts are the ultimate savory summer pastry, & they’re so easy to make.
Simply top store-bought puff pastry with shredded mozzarella, creamy Boursin cheese for extra garlicky-herb flavor, & thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes. Feel free to use a variety of colors & shapes to make your tomato tarts look totally bakery-worthy, though for best results, you’ll want to be sure to use smaller tomatoes, about 2-3 inches in diameter. Not only are they a better size for these individual tarts, they tend to have more concentrated flavor.
I love making these puff pastry tomato tarts as a really fun late-summer treat, but they also double as a beautiful lunch or light dinner when you pair them with a simple salad. So tasty, so impressive, & honestly – so simple to throw together whenever you have a couple extra heirloom tomatoes hanging around in your kitchen. I hope you love them as much as we do! ♡
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 sheet puff pastry (about 14 ounces), homemade or thawed from frozen (see Recipe Notes)
- egg wash (1 large egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella (approx. 8 ounces)
- 5.2 ounces Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs gournay cheese
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving: flaky sea salt, thinly sliced fresh basil
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the top upper 1/3 of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment & set aside. Arrange the heirloom tomatoes in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate or small baking sheet. Season each side of the tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with paper towel, patting down so the paper towel comes into contact with the tomatoes, then set aside while you prepare the puff pastry tart crust.
- Heirloom tomato tart assembly: Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the puff pastry out large enough to make 8 separate tart crusts, approximately an 8×12-inch rectangle. Cut the pastry into 8 smaller rectangles, roughly 3×4-inches. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of each piece of puff pastry with egg wash. Assemble the heirloom tomato tarts by sprinkling about 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella in the center of each one, followed by a few crumbles of Boursin cheese, & nestle a few slices of tomato over top.
- Bake the heirloom tomato tarts: Transfer the heirloom tomato puff pastry tarts to the oven. Bake 18-22 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through to promote even browning, or until the tarts are flaky & golden brown with bubbly cheese.
- Serve: Remove from the oven & allow to cool slightly. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, finish each heirloom tomato tart with a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt & fresh basil. Enjoy!
- Puff pastry: While you can certainly make your own homemade puff pastry (this is a great recipe), it’s one of those instances where our store-bought options are just as good. Puff pastry is usually sold in the ‘dessert’ freezer section of the grocery store, next to bread dough & pie crusts. I really like the frozen puff pastry from Trader Joe’s. It’s really affordable, & 1 box contains 2 sheets. You will need 1 sheet for this heirloom tomato tart recipe.
- Storage & Reheating: Given the flaky pastry, these heirloom tomato tarts are best enjoyed the day you bake them, though leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like enjoying leftovers cold or room temperature – just take them out of the refrigerator & let them warm up for 15-20 minutes before enjoying. Due to the pastry, I do not suggest reheating leftovers in the microwave – it will get soggy.
Keywords: easy puff pastry recipes, heirloom tomato pastry, heirloom tomato recipe, tomato puff pastry, tomato & cheese pastry
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.