Tomato Tarte Tatin

finished tatin

Summer’s end and the farmer’s markets are full of terrific home grown tomatoes.    Many have exotic names like green zebra, chocolate pearls and black krim.    Well, you can still make a great dish with just plain old Roma tomatoes.   In fact, my tomato tarte tatin works best with these all year favorites.

Roma’s are firmer and have less water than some of the larger heirloom types.   The recipe below shows you how to make a tomato tarte tatin made with Roma tomates, kalamata olives, caramelized onions and puff pastry.    Yes, this is a more savory version of the traditional apple tarte tatin where apples are caramelized over the stove in a caramel syrup then topped with puff pastry and baked.   The finished product is carefully and swiftly inverted on to a serving tray so that the bottom becomes the top!

Use a heavy 9 inch cast iron skillet for this dish and make sure to have a parchment lined baking sheet ready when you want to invert the finished tatin.   I like to invert it, let it cool to room temperature, then use a couple of large flat spatulas to more the tatin to a serving plate.

Enjoy your summer bounty of tomatoes with this great recipe.   Bon appetite!

Use a 8 t0 9 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe.
Serves 8

1 piece (8 X 10) of frozen puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm.   There are two in a box. Only thaw one for this recipe
1 egg
1 tablespoon half and half or heavy cream

For the onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 medium white or yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 ½ tablespoons sugar

For the tatin pan and the tomatoes
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
¼ cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
7 to 8 Roma tomatoes

For the cheese layer
8 ounces of montrachet cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, rosemary and or sage
2 tablespoons half and half 

To prepare the caramelized onions
Melt the butter in a large heavy sauté pan.     When hot, add the thinly sliced onions.    Cook the onions, stirring now and then, until they start to turn a soft brown color.     Cook some more until they begin to get a deeper brown.   Sprinkle the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the onions.    Stir and cook until a nice brown color.  Set aside and cool while preparing the tomatoes.   TIP – make sure not to place too much butter in your pan when you caramelize onions.   You need very little butter so that the onions turn caramel in color and don’t just soak in butter!

To prepare the tomatoes
Slice the end off the tomato (just the tip where it was attached to the vine.)    Using a paring knife, remove the inside of the tomatoes.  Place the halves, cut side down, on a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.

tomato in cast iron pan

To prepare the tatin pan
Place the ¼ cup sugar in the cast iron pan.   Add the water.   Cook over medium heat, swirling pan gently (do not stir) until sugar melts and turns amber, 5 to 8 minutes.   Add the vinegar and swirl gently.

Place the tomatoes, skin side down, around the pan.   Be careful, the caramel is hot.   You may want to use tongs.   Cut some of the tomatoes if needed to fill in areas.   Place the olives in some of the spots that are open.

tatin with cheese reduced

To finish the tatin
Place the caramelized onions on top of the tomatoes.    Combine the cheese,  egg, half and half and herbs in a bowl.   Place the cheese, in even spoonfuls, around the onions.

Place the puff pastry on a work surface lightly dusted with flour.   Use a rolling pin to lightly even out the pastry.    Cut out a round slightly larger than the cast iron pan.     Place the pastry over the tatin.   Brush with the egg glaze (egg and cream/half and half) and cut several slits in the pastry.

Place the completed tatin on a baking pan (in case it bubbles over during baking).   Bake in the preheated oven until browned on top….about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Use a paring knife to go around the edge of the tatin to loosen.  Carefully but swiftly flip the tatin on a parchment lined baking pan or a cardboard round.   When cool to the touch, transfer carefully to a serving plate or slice into individual slices.   Serve  slightly warm or at room temperature 



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