Tomato and Basil Tartlets Recipe

Carol Hanks is a country nurse by profession – and an outstanding cook by inclination. Try her Tomato and Basil Tartlets recipe.

_DSC9281Makes 12 small or 6 medium tartlets


  • 225g cake flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 110g butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • cocktail tomatoes, halved
  • salt and sugar


  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbsp home-made pesto
  • 110g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 55g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Sift the flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips to bread crumb consistency. Add the thyme leaves then the wine and mix to form a firm, but not damp, ball. Chill until ready to use. Lay the tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt and sugar. Cover and leave for a couple of hours or overnight.
  2. Roll out the pastry thinly on a floured surface (or between two sheets of baking paper) and use it to line the tartlet tins before chilling in a fridge for 30 minutes. Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl, adding a little water to soften the mixture. Season to taste. Preheat your oven to 200ºC, line the pastry in the tartlet tins with greaseproof paper and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans, turn off the oven and leave the pastry to dry. Cool on a wire rack. Divide the filling evenly between the tartlet cases and smooth with a knife. Place the tomato halves, cut side down, on the filling.
  3. Before serving, place the tartlets on a baking sheet and heat gently for 8-10 minutes (until the tomatoes are warmed through). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before glazing with the tomato purée and oil using a pastry brush. Serve immediately, garnished with salad leaves.

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