Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ONE 10½-INCH TART; SERVES 6
Make this elegant tart in the summer, when mangoes, avocados, and tomatoes are in season. The glistening fruit and vegetables look almost like stained glass on top of the tart. It is the perfect warm-weather luncheon or supper. The recipe uses only half of Nonna's Sponge Dough, but while you are at it, why not turn the remaining dough into a round loaf of bread?
Be sure to use a ripe mango when making this tart, but one that is not so soft that it feels soggy; an overripe mango will be difficult to cut into neat slices. Press your thumb against the mango: at the peak of ripeness, the flesh should yield to slight pressure. If it is hard, it is under-ripe and the taste will be bitter.
Juice of ½ lemon
1 medium avocado
1/2 recipe Nonna's Sponge Dough
1 medium mango, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
10 to 15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2teaspoon fine sea salt
Spray a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with olive oil spray.
Place the pan on a sheet of aluminum foil and bring the edges of the foil up around but not over the sides of the pan, folding it down over itself as necessary. (This will prevent any leakage in the oven.) Set the pan aside.
Pour the lemon juice onto a plate. With a small sharp knife, peel the avocado, cut it in half lengthwise, and remove the pit. Cut the avocado into thin slices and place them on the plate with the lemon juice. Turn the slices to coat both sides with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 to 4 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky. Roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in the tart pan, letting the excess dough overhang the sides, without stretching the dough: Allow enough slack so the dough will not shrink from the edges when cut.
With the rolling pin, roll over the edge of the pan to cut off excess dough. (Add the excess dough to the Sponge Dough and shape into a round to make a bonus loaf, or freeze for future use.)
Arrange the mango slices around the inside edge of the tart pan, overlapping them slightly. Make a circle of the avocado slices, partly covering the mango slices and overlapping the avocado slices slightly. Fill in the center with the tomato halves. Cover the tart with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, and basil together. Sprinkle the tart with the salt and pour the egg mixture evenly over the top.
Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges of the crust are browned and the egg mixture is set. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 45 minutes.
Remove the aluminum foil and the ring of the tart pan. With a table knife, gently loosen the tart from the bottom of the pan and slip it onto a serving dish. Cut the tart into wedges with a sharp knife. The tart is best served slightly warm or at room temperature and best eaten the day it is made.