Cherry Tomato, Onion, and Gruyère Tart

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Despite the fierce winds and lashing rain brought by the fringes of super storm Sandy to Toronto, we are keeping safe and thinking of all our friends in the northeastern U.S. We, here, are just merely hit by the edge of the storm system, but we are already feeling its menacing effects! This is the time I like to sit down to my “end-of-the-world” thoughts (note the quotation marks – I feel like being a tad dramatic).

If it were my last day on earth, what meal would I choose to feast on? This is a tough one. I think I will definitely go with a Filipino-style grilled pork belly that we call liempo. Or this pork baby back ribs that I blogged about. Or my favourite Korean-style BBQ beef ribs known as kalbi or galbi. For dessert, a simple chocolate pot de crème with milk crumble and maybe some blackberry financiers!

Of course, I won’t forget this savoury tart – it’s definitely part of my end-of-the-world feast! I previously made another version, with Swiss chard, pear, and Comté cheese, and I became utterly, madly, deeply in love with it! I hope you’ll like this version, too, with the sweetest cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, and a gluten-free crust made with tapioca, brown rice, sorghum, and glutinous rice flours (but it tastes like the regular wheat one)!

Since a dish like this has the power to transport me back to certain places and times in my life, I’ve decided to evoke a very French Provençal spirit and apply it to these tarts. Tomatoes (very French) – check. Caramelized sweet onions (very French) – check. Herbes de Provence (very French Provençal) – check. Gruyère cheese (ooh, Swiss, but who cares!) – check.

Let’s talk a bit about herbes de Provence. It’s typically a dried mix of whatever herbs or spices that are seasonal and abundant in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Mine has savory, marjoram, thyme, basil, and fennel (both seeds and pollen). Traditionally, this herb mix also includes lavender, but I opted out this time (la famille is not very fond of this). I ground them all in a spice grinder and added it to the custard-like filling of my tarts!

With each bite, it felt like I was back in the South of France on a market day! Antiques and brocantes on a Sunday in l’Isle sur la Sorgue. The daily (except Mondays) marché aux poissons (fish market) in Nice. The thrice-weekly marché aux fleurs (flower market) in Aix en Provence. The second largest marché Provençal (second only to Carpentras) on Tuesdays in Vaison la Romaine. The Friday morning marché aux truffes (truffle market) from November to March in Carpentras.

And so, I imagined sitting down for lunch at an outdoor café, the brim of my hat pulled down low to shield me from the hot sun, contemplating what I’ll be having for dinner that night. La vie est belle!

Tell me, if it were your last day on earth, what meal would you choose to feast on?

5.0 from 6 reviews
Cherry Tomato, Onion, and Gruyère Tart
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Recipe for gluten-free tart crust is adapted from "Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free" by Karen Morgan. Published by Chronicle Books in 2010.
Recipe Type: Main Course, French, Gluten-Free
Serves: three 6" tartlets or one 9" to 12" tart
  • ~~ For the pastry crust* ~~
  • ½ cup (70 g) tapioca flour + more for dusting
  • ¾ cup (105 g) white or brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup (30 g) sorghum flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (30 g) glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons guar gum
  • 1½ sticks (165 g) cold or frozen butter, diced into ½" pieces
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • ~~ For the filling ~~
  • 2 pints (about 30 to 36 pieces) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 white onions, cut in wedges or crescent-shape
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (savory, marjoram, thyme, basil, fennel seeds and pollen)
  • 1 tablespoon glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) cream
  • 1½ cups (45 g) Gruyère cheese, finely shredded
  • sea salt to taste
  • fennel flowers for garnish
  1. To make the pastry crust, add the first eight ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse five times. Add the cold butter and pulse ten times until the mixture resembles very coarse sand.
  2. Add the two eggs and pulse until dough comes together to form a loose ball.
  3. Turn the dough in a floured work surface. Knead it a couple of times and divide the dough into three disks, if making 6" tarts. If making 9" or up to a 12" tart, divide the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Take dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic. Roll it out on the plastic wrap to about ¼-inch thick, making sure it's about a couple of inches in diameter larger than your tart pan.
  5. Using the plastic as an aid, lift your dough and invert gently on a tart pan with removable bottom. Roll your pin on top to cut out excess dough. Remove plastic and excess dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  6. Blind bake by covering with parchment and pie weights (use ceramic ones or dry beans). Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. The tarts can be made up to 2 days in advanced. If not yet using, store in refrigerator covered loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the cherry tomatoes on the prepared pan, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and roast until slightly tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, heat pan with olive oil over medium. Sauté the onions until tender and slightly browned on the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, herbes de Provence, glutinous rice flour, milk, cream, half the amount of Gruyère cheese, and about ½ teaspoon salt.
  10. Fill the tart crust with the cherry tomatoes and onions. Pour the custard over it and top with remaining Gruyère cheese.
  11. If desired, protect the edge of your crust by wrapping around it a pie crust protector or make your own with a thin sliver of aluminum foil.
  12. Bake at same temperature, 375 F (190 C), about 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and golden. Let it cool slightly before cutting. Garnish with fennel flowers.
*If you prefer to make this tart the regular way, follow any pâte brisée recipe of your choice.



  • Those tomatoes look absolutely divine! So plump and sitting up straight in the centre. I hope everyone is ok in the U.S. We’re getting lots of news reports about it here.

  • Are you kidding me, Jen?!? This tart is GORGEOUS!!! Glad you didn’t get the storm too badly. I’m still waiting for daylight to check for any damage. My power remained on, which I’m so thankful for! NYC is devastated!

  • This is beautiful Jen.

  • I’ve thought about that question too, and I definitely want some Filipino adobo! Then I will want a dessert with chocolate, because that’s the best meal ending for me 😉

  • Reply October 30, 2012


    This post is just what I needed this morning. We’re feeling the outer edges of hurricane Sandy too. It’s sleeting, blustery, and grey. (Normally I love grey days, but not when it’s this chilly.) Your made me feel as though I was back in the South of France, happily carefree and warm. :)

    Love your photos. They always have such a light, airy, cheerful vibe!

  • I have tons of leftover ingredients from last weekend’s party and have been contemplating a savory tart. I love yours. It’s foggy and gray where I am as I read about the mark that Sandy left on the East Coast. Your post is like a ray of sunshine. :)

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    amy @ fearless homemaker

    Oh yum! I absolutely love this type of savory, flavor-filled tart. This looks wonderful!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Choc Chip Uru

    What an incredible savoury tart my friend :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Suzanne Perazzini

    Your photos remind me so much of those on the Cannelle et Vanille blog – just beautiful. This tart is so beautifully put together and styled. For my last meal I would have a seafood salad Italian-style and then a dessert with chocolate, caramel, custard and perhaps a little soft meringue.

  • Reply October 30, 2012


    I feel like you made this just for me… tarts are already my favorite, versatile meal but here you pulled some of my absolute favorite ingredients too! Brilliant photos, magazine-worthy for sure;

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Jennifer @ Delicieux

    What a gorgeous tart Jen! I love everything about this. Especially the cherry tomatoes and caramelised onions. Both are my absolute favourites!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Phenomenal Mama

    We do not have such a wide variety of flours to choose from.. just plain all-purpose flour and bread flour. I wish we could be given the same options as you. It is hard to look for a gluten free crust that tastes just like the “real” thing.

    We do not have savory tarts as often here, but I’d love to taste this!:)

  • Reply October 30, 2012


    What a beautiful tart! Are those tomatoes the sun gold variety? If they are, you have one of the best cherry tomatoes that I have ever tasted. Lovely photography!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Cass @foodmyfriend

    I feel like I would be quite content with this as my last meal! It looks so good. Maybe a whole pan of brownies too though.

  • Reply October 31, 2012


    Luscious looking tart with the tomatoes and caramelized onions yum! I have yet to try some of those end of the world recipes but they do sound so good. Hope you all get through all the rain and wind. By the way your photos are always so warm and cheery!

  • Reply October 31, 2012


    Beautiful tart Jen, love the photos;-) I’ll have to get back to you on my last meal- so many choices,lol!
    We just came home from AZ where it’s so warm, hard to believe Sandy caused so much devastation on the east coast in such a short period of time, glad you are safe!

  • Glad that you are safe from Sandy! What a storm. Your tart is stunning. All of my favorite things put together. I am now officially drooling and your photos are beautiful. :-)

  • Reply October 31, 2012

    Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    This tart is so pretty but I know I’d inhale it in 5 seconds flat :)

  • So pretty! Glad you guys are safe, and only feeling the winds from the storm. I have never sat down to think about what a last meal would be. I have no idea how I would narrow it down!

  • Reply October 31, 2012


    Ooooh this looks divine – I love the pops of dill and rosemary garnish so pretty…I really enjoyed reading your story too.

    Hmmm last meal – not sure I would have to give that some serious thought!

  • Reply October 31, 2012


    So beautiful!! I love this tart – absolutely gorgeous and looks so delicious.

  • Reply October 31, 2012


    Oh my – what a gorgeous tart! There’s so much goodness in this tart I just don’t know where to begin. However, once I did begin eating it, I wouldn’t be able to stop!

  • Reply November 1, 2012

    joey @ 80 Breakfasts

    Lovely tart! How I love savory tarts! The best one I ever had was actually a simple cheese quiche I had in the tiny town of Gruyères in Switzerland, made with, or course, gruyère cheese just like yours!

    Gosh, what a tough question…last meal…I think I would have to have a feast of different dishes because I couldn’t pick just one!

  • Reply November 1, 2012


    fantastic recipe!

  • Reply November 3, 2012

    Magic of Spice

    Glad you did not get too much from the storm! And your tart looks so delicious…gorgeous too!

  • Reply November 4, 2012

    Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I love the combination of gruyere (now this is my favorite cheese!) and tomatoes. :) I need to save your last meal choices as they sound all delicious! Your dishes are all carefully presented and it’s fun to see each photos. I sometimes get lost while I’m looking at it (where am I looking?!)… thanks for another beautiful post!

  • Reply November 5, 2012


    Thats the most prettiest tart Ive ever seen in my entire life, love the recipe and how it looks!

  • Gruyere, with tomato in a tart is heavenly sounding to my ears. I am a real cheese girl too.. ;). Especially when gruyere is toasted on french lof-baguette and then dipped in caramelized onion soup? DELISH! Okay, I digressed but your tart is making me dream of all sorts of dish I could add cheese too.. Beautiful clicks too !!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Kiran @

    So glad you are doing well. That tart looks too beautiful to eat, Jen 😀

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