Tennessee Tomato Tart

I recently served this at a dinner party and everyone wanted the recipe, so I said I would share it with everyone here. The first time I had this was with friends in an old antebellum home on a hilltop in Franklin, Tennessee. The tomatoes flavored with thyme are caramelized with brown sugar and covered with puff pastry. This savory pastry makes a beautiful appetizer or light lunch.

1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes (about 6)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves pressed garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 medium shallot minced
1 sheet puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Core tomatoes and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Using a paring knife seed each wedge. Combine the tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic and olive oil in a mixing bowl or large zip bag tossing gently to coat thoroughly.

In a 7-inch nonstick, ovenproof saute pan, combine brown sugar, vinegar and shallot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half and the mixture is syrupy, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool 5 minutes.

Arrange the tomato wedges, cut-side down, in a concentric circle slightly overlapping and tight. The pan will be full. Pour remaining marinade over the tomatoes.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook until the tomatoes have released their juices and evaporated about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool 5 minutes.
Cut a 9-inch circle from the puff pastry using a 9-inch dinner plate as your template. Place the pastry over the tomatoes and using a spatula tuck the edges of the pastry down the edge into the pan.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Place a plate over the pan and invert the plate and pan in a single motion. Cut into 6-8 wedges.

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