Fresh Tomato & Fontina Cheese Tart
Best Recipe Winner at Big E Fair
This Fresh Tomato & Fontina Cheese Tart is colorful, scrumptious and extraordinarily simple to make.
Aromatic crushed fennel seeds in the crust deliver a delicious dimension you smell and taste with every bite. As a result, the tart’s flavor is distinct and unforgettable.
Fontina, an Italian cheese known for its smooth texture, gives the tart a richness that pairs perfectly with fresh tomatoes. The onions, olives and fresh thyme sprigs add to the tart’s gourmet taste and vibrant appearance.
This Fresh Tomato & Fontina Cheese Tart is hearty but not heavy, which makes it perfect for brunch or dinner. It also reheats well. Add it to your meal-planning today. You are going to love it!
Recipe credit goes to Anne Crouss who won at the Big E Fair (2013), first place in a contest General Mills’ baking division sponsored for family-favorite meals. We simply made it with a thicker crust. We’ve made the crust both with Bisquick, and a flour version (Fennel Seed Pie Crust). Both are delicious!
- Follow the step by step images below to take a tour through this blue ribbon winning recipe.
- Don’t skip placing the tomato slices on paper towels stage as it dries them out just enough to prevent too much juice draining into the pie and making the crust soggy.
- Can’t find Fontina? Go with a Gouda, Gruyere, or provolone as substitutes. They have comparable texture and richness.
- If you prefer thinner crusts, use an oversize 12-inch pie pan (which is how Anne, the recipe creator, made it originally).
- Want to use Bisquick for the crust? Use 1 1/2 cups of the mix and 6 tablespoons butter instead of the flour and butter amounts listed.
If you love savory pies, be sure to also try this Savory Butternut Squash Pie or these Spicy Chicken Hand Pies.
Step by Step Images
First, prepare your crust. Use the Bisquick version the winner did (in recipe below), or if you prefer flour instead, use the Fennel Seed Pie Crust recipe we tested and approved.
Second – once the crust is parbaked and cooled…begin the layering. Start with the Italian Fontina Cheese.
Third, load up most of the tomatoes.
Next, combine the chopped olives, onion, fresh thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add them on top of the tomatoes.
After adding the olive/onion mixture, as the last step, add the remaining tomatoes. Now it is ready to go into the oven.
Finally, bake, then let it cool a bit before adding fresh thyme sprigs, slicing. and serving.
Fresh Tomato & Fontina Cheese Tart
1 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix (For flour version, follow this link to our Fennel Seed Pie Crust recipe)
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup butter or shortening, softened
1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds
4 to 5 tablespoons boiling hot water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese (or Gouda, Gruyere, or provolone as substitutes)
3 large tomatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick, well drained on paper towels
15 olives (black, green, or your choice), chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 9 or 10-inch-tart pan with non-stick spray or line bottom with parchment. In small bowl, mix flour, butter (or shortening), and crushed fennel seeds. Add hot water. Stir until soft dough forms. Press into tart pan. Bake 10 minutes or until light brown. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F. Remove tart from oven, brush with a lightly beaten egg white. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes longer. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
Sprinkle cheese over bottom of cooled crust. Arrange 2/3 of the tomato slices in slightly overlapping circles over the cheese. In a small bowl, combine olives, onions, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Spread over the cheese layer. Place remaining tomatoes over the onion layer. Bake at 400 degree F for about 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and the tomatoes are bubbling. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve warm or at room temperature.