Tomato Tarte Tatin
I made this recipe up because I thought that a French cookbook without a tarte tatin was … plain wrong. However, I just couldn’t achieve an apple tatin that tasted amazing whilst cutting back on the butter (it’s at the heart of a good apple tatin, I’m afraid), so I thought outside the box and gave the tatin a makeover using sundried tomatoes instead. Since I can never find sundried tomatoes that aren’t steeped in oil, I make them myself. If you’ve never sundried your own tomatoes, you’re in for a real treat: they’re amazing. The process of drying them in the oven takes around 2 hours, but it’s perfectly possible to make them days ahead if you want to.
|1kg||whole red tomatoes|
|A sprinkling||of salt|
|100g||puff pastry, cut from a ready-made block (all-butter is best)|
|5g||butter, for greasing|
|A handful||basil leaves|
You will need a 20cm round tin.
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
To make the sundried tomatoes, cut the tomatoes into six even segments. If they’re on the small side, cutting them into quarters is fine.
Lay them out on a baking sheet, skin side down, so that they sit up and face their seeds towards the heat. Sprinkle a little salt over to help draw out the moisture.
Place them near the bottom of the oven and cook for 2 hours without opening the door. Once cooked, allow them to cool and dry out in the open air for 30 minutes.
To make the tarte tatin, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Cut the puff-pastry block in half and roll it out so that it’s really nice and thin. Cut a 20cm circle in the pastry. Put it back in the fridge until needed to prevent the pastry from warming up and becoming difficult to handle.
Once the tomatoes have had time to dry out a little and cool down, rub the butter around the base and sides of a 20cm round tin.
Arrange the tomatoes on the bottom of the tin, with each one lying on its side. It’s easiest if you work from the outside into the middle. The amount of tomatoes is correct for this size of tin, with the tomatoes packed in tight. Remember that the bottom becomes the top with this tart, so it’s worth making an effort to keep the pattern as regular as possible.
Once all the tomatoes are neatly arranged, place the circle of puff pastry over the top and put the tart into the middle of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry has risen and become golden.
Flip the tatin on to a plate and scatter the basil leaves over. Serve warm.
I have also made this recipe as a canapé, using a mini muffin mould instead of a whole tin.
By using tomatoes, as opposed to apples, you take away any need for butter in the topping. What's more, the flavour of sun-dried tomatoes is so intense that a smallish piece of this tatin is plenty.
101 calories per serving.