Take some tomatoes and bastardise a traditional French recipe to end up with something absolutely sublime. Presenting the tomato tarte tatin…
by John Pope on May 18, 2016
There are few things more versatile than a tomato, but time and time again we tend to use them in the same old dull ways. Yes salads are good and pasta sauces are good, but surely there have to be better ways to let this wondrous red fruit shine, and there are, oh there are!
Traditionally a tarte tatin is made with apples, but there is no reason why you can’t substitute in a different fruit. The classic apple variety is great, peaches or apricots both work brilliantly, but I believe this savoury tomato version tops them all, it truly is a thing of beauty.
There really isn’t much else to say, so without further story or ceremony, here is how to make a…
Terrifically tasty tomato tarte tatin
The star here is obviously the tomatoes, so make sure you pick something that is worthy of the dish!
You’ll find plenty of recipes around that use cherry tomatoes, but actually small plum tomatoes work much better. They are more visually exciting and super tasty. Try to pick a variety that have a decent ratio of flesh to seeds because you are going to de-seed them, we used some beautiful sunstream midi plums.
Normally I moan about recipes that call for ready made ingredients, but puff pastry is an exception. If you want to make your own that is fantastic, but it’s a lot of work and the ready-made stuff is generally very good. Just make sure that you are buying “All butter puff pastry” and not one made with vegetable oil.
The only vaguely special bit of equipment that you will need is an oven-proof frying pan (skillet). If you only have a frying pan with a plastic handle then see if you can unscrew and remove the handle temporarily. The quantities given in the recipe are roughly what I used for a pan which was about 19cm (7½”) across. You can scale it up or down for whatever size oven-proof frying pan you happen to possess.
- All butter puff pastryA block
- Small plum tomatoes330 g
- Red onion1
- Unsalted butter1 tbsp
- Sugar50 g
- Balsamic vinegarA splash
- Fresh thyme
Halve and de-seed the tomatoes, and halve and finely slice the onion.
Roll the pastry to a thickness of about half a centimetre and cut out a circle about 2.5cm larger than your oven-proof pan.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F)
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the sliced onions and a pinch of sugar and gently cook them, stirring regularly for about 15-20 minutes until they are caramelised.
Add a splash of water and stir for a minute until it evaporates making sure that you get all of the gooey bits of stuck goodness from the bottom of the pan, then remove the caramelised onions to a bowl and set aside.
In your oven-proof pan, combine the sugar and about 3 tablespoons of water. Heat on a medium temperature, swirling the pan gently but not stirring, for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar has all dissolved and the liquid has turned an amber colour. Add the vinegar and give it another swirl to mix.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully place the tomatoes, cut side up, in the caramel to completely cover the base of the pan in a single layer.
Sprinkle the caramelised onions over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with a handful of thyme leaves and season with salt and black pepper.
Lay the puff pastry over the top of the tomatoes, etc. and tuck the edges down into the sides of the pan. Stab the pastry all the way through in several places with a fork to allow steam to escape as it cooks.
Bake in the preheated oven for about half an hour until the pastry looks puffed up and golden. Leave it to stand for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pastry to ensure that it is not stuck to the pan.
The moment of truth has arrived, carefully flip the tart over onto a plate, stand back and marvel at the fantastically beautiful thing you have just created!
Sprinkle with a few more fresh thyme leaves and serve either while hot or at room temperature.
Eat it with whatever you like, it can either be a side dish or the main event served with a nice green salad. Goes down particularly well with a crisp white or rosé wine.