Tomato Tarte Tatin
Of course Tarte Tatin is normally made with apples, caramelized in an ovenproof pan, covered in puff pastry, baked in the oven, then flipped and served. The conflicting origin story involves the sisters Tatin, hoteliers from the Solonge, south of Paris, who either mistakenly inverted an apple pie, or overcooked an apple tart, then panicked and saved it with a sheet of pastry. More here.
Sam found a recipe for Tomato Tarte Tatin in the Cooperative food magazine in 2013. It became a staple in our house, and is easy to whip together if you have cherry tomatoes and store bought puff pastry. It is also incredibly easy to make your own quick puff pastry (often known as rough puff), recipe here.
This incarnation features the beautiful Berner Rose tomato.
5 regular sized tomatoes, or enough cherry tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pan
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
25 g butter
1 sprig rosemary
200 g puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / gas mark 6.
If you are using cherry tomatoes, skip the next step and keep them whole.
If you are using regular tomatoes you will need to remove most of the seeds. If you don't do this the tomatoes will release too much moisture during cooking, causing a soggy tart. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and use a spoon to scrape out most of the seeds (a grapefruit spoon works brilliantly if you have one). Then cut the quarters into half. Set aside.
Now, roll out the puff pastry. To cut out, use the frying pan you intend to use for cooking as a guide for size, see photo above. Make sure this pan is oven proof. Set the puff pastry aside.
Now, set your pan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, salt and vinegar, then stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn up the heat slightly, until the sugar bubbles. Then add the butter, turning the heat down if it begins to splutter. Add the rosemary.
Turn off the heat, and VERY carefully place the tomato slices in the sugar.
Now carefully place the puff pastry over the tomatoes, tucking it around the edges.
Put this in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the bottom is golden.
Remove the pan from the oven.
Now for the tricky part: inverting the tart onto a plate. Flip the whole pan carefully and quickly, and don't worry too much if it breaks, it will still be delicious.
- Inverting the tart on to a plate, rather than a cutting board, prevents the juices from running everywhere.
- The frying pan handle is still hot! (I can't tell you how many times I have taken a frying pan out of the oven, removed the food, and then reached for the handle, forgetting that it had just been in a 200C oven. Keep your pot holder on top of the handle as a reminder.)
- Cherry tomatoes work brilliantly and cut down on the prep time significantly, just toss them in instead of arranging the slices.