Tarte tatin is a french dessert classic. It can be a little tricky when you make it the first time but once you get the hang of it it’s quickly made. It is best to have a good brand of puff pastry at hand because making your own is rather laboursome. In this tomato tart tatin recipe I will do what I do best – turn the recipe on its head and make something savoury out of something that is supposed to be sweet.
For those of you who know me by now it’s no big news that I avoid processed foods. In this case I make a big exception. You can find good puff pastry at local stores in the chilled food section. You know it is without preservatives if the expiration date is rather short. I tend to buy a few at once and freeze them. When I want to use them I leave them out on the counter to defrost.
But let’s get back to the tomato tarte tatin. Originally it is made with apples and combines golden light puff pastry with the juiciness of caramelised fruit. I see no reason why you should not be able to use tomatoes or any other vegetable for this. Just make sure you choose a vegetable that is not all too watery. Now the tricky bit – tomatoes are mostly water so you will need to remove the seedy and watery core. It is a bit of work but worth it! This savoury version of a tarte tatin with ruby heirloom tomatoes is to
die live for.
- 500g (1lb) mixed heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- 300g (10 oz) puff pastry, in a block or already rolled out
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp vegan butter, or coconut oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
- 2 tsp muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 basil tops as garnish – optional
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C (390˚F). Half the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds into a bowl. You'll be surprised how much water there actually is in them. Mix the halved and deseeded tomatoes with the thinly sliced onion, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread the mix onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes have dried out slightly and the onions are cooked through.
- Add the vegan butter or coconut oil to a ovenproof pan of of about 20-25cm (8-10inch). I love to use cast iron pans so it's a natural choice. It gives the tarte tatin and nice structure and you do not have to worry about putting it into the oven. Melt the butter, add the crushed garlic to it and fry at medium heat for about 2 minutes. Make sure the heat is not to high, you want the garlic to soften, not burn. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir. Let the mixture lightly caramelise for another minute.
- Pour the roasted onion and tomatoes into the pan and push them down while leaving a little bit of space to the rim of the pan. Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface if you bought it in a block - I buy mine already rolled out. Cut out a circle slightly larger than the pan. Cover the tomatoes and tuck the corners carefully under. Pierce the puff pastry with a fork and place the pan into the oven. Increase the heat to 200˚C (440˚F) and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Take it out of the oven once it is golden. Let the tomato tarte tatin rest for about 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the puff pastry, cover it with a plate and flip it over. Remove the pan and serve immediately warm or as a delightful snack when it cooled down.