Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tomato Camembert Pie – One last taste of summer

by Leslie Budewitz

The original version of this recipe came from Country Living Magazine, January 2002, although it has gone through many iterations and changes in our house. Funny that it was first published midwinter—to us, it’s the flavor of summer, and we simply must have it at least once every summer. But I’m happy to see that date and be reminded that we can enjoy it any time of year!

Note the secret ingredients in the crust: olive oil, and pepper. Either Camembert or Brie work equally well. You can use almost any fresh herbs you have; the parsley and bay leaf are almost essential, and chives are very nice. I rarely have the fresh rosemary called for – it does not do well in this climate.

Leftovers are, well, wonderful.

The tart goes beautifully with a crisp salad and white wine or a nice rosé. Erin and her mother would definitely approve!

Tomato Camembert Pie

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold butter (3/4 stick), cut into pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup Gruyere, grated
4 plum or Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick; if your tomatoes are fat, you may need to cut the slices in half
6 ounces Camembert or Brie, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 small bayleaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil, scant

Make the tart dough: In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, salt, and pepper until the mixture resembles small crumbs or coarse meal. Mix in 2 tablespoons of oil and the water until the dough begins to gather and cling together. If your flour or climate are dry, you may need more oil, up to about 1 tablespoon. (You can do this with a spoon or pastry blender, if you’d rather.)

Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk.

Don’t play frisbee. Instead, wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge about 30 minutes.

Create the tart: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out chilled dough and place into a tart shell; allow about 1/4 inch of dough to stick out above the edge of the pan, for shrinkage.

Spread the mustard in the bottom of the shell. Sprinkle the Gruyere over the mustard.

Layer the tomato and Camembert strips around the outer 3-4 inches of the shell; fill in the middle with leftover tomato and cheese.

In that food processor, mix the herbs, garlic, and oil. You’ll have about 3/4 cup of herb paste. Brush about ½ cup over the tart.

Bake the tart: Bake tart on the middle shelf for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush with the remaining herb paste. Serve warm.

Makes one 10-11 inch tart -- 6-8 servings.

From the cover of BUTTER OFF DEAD: As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.


  1. that looks wonderful Leslie! Have you tried it with other cheeses?

    1. Just the Camembert or Brie. Love the combination of the soft sweet cheese with the sharper Gruyere.

  2. This sounds wonderful, indeed!
    I wonder if the original recipe came from someone in south Florida where winter is our local growing season?

    1. It's a recipe typical of the south of France. And I'm making it in the NW of US! Love versatile food!

  3. That does look good! I'm not very competent with pie crust though.

    1. We had a neighbor in my childhood who said her pie crusts looked like Idaho!

  4. That is a beautiful looking pie, Leslie! :-)

    1. Thanks!Tasty and pretty don't have to go together, but it's nice when they do!

  5. How beautiful! What a lovely dish. A great dish to bring to parties!

  6. That looks so very good! And I would be eating it all by myself, since my husband would not try it. Silly man...

    1. It warms up nicely, and is excellent any time of day!

  7. Oh my - definitely making this! What a great combination of flavors.

  8. Two of my favorite ingredients tomatoes and cheese! I will definitely be making this! Thanks for sharing!