Tomato Tarte Tatin

Okay, so, this wasn’t entirely my own idea.  It was featured in the July issue of Bon Appetit magazine, as part of their Tomato Tasting Menu.  I won’t take credit for the idea, just the execution of it.

Tarte Tatin is a French upside-down apple tart with puff pastry, supposedly made accidentally by Stephanie Tatin at the Hotel Tatin in 1898 – one of the only food origin stories I’ve ever heard that involved a woman inventing something amazing.  It’s very simple, essentially the same process as a pineapple upside-down cake – caramelizing fruit, topping with pastry and baking until puffed.

I opted to make my own puff pastry for this one, and had it not been for the fact that I had no one to take shots while I worked, I would be putting up a photo tutorial as we speak.  As it is, the making of the puff pastry was so difficult, I’m not sure when I’ll do it again – I’m still sore, and it’s been two days!  I followed Julia Child’s recipe from “From Julia Child’s Kitchen” on this one, except for replacing the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and as I had plenty left over, I expect I will be using it to some purpose where I can taste it on its own, and let it puff as high as it can, since with this tart, the layers collapse under the fruit.  Or mine did, anyway.

Tomato Tarte Tatin (1 9-inch tart)

This tart received mixed reviews at our table: three really enjoyed it, even the one who normally despises tomatoes!  The other two of us were lukewarm at best on the tomatoes, but liked the caramel and crust.

Ingredients:

  • puff pastry, thawed, trimmed into a 9-inch circle (to fit a cast iron pan)
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 8 large plum tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Melt butter in cast iron pan.  Sprinkle sugar over the top and cook, swirling often, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out their innards.  Arrange them, cut side up, in the cast iron pan.  Continue to cook until caramel has turned dark amber, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Place puff pastry on top, tucking edges under with a knife.  Place in the oven and cook 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.  If top of pastry browns too quickly, place a sheet of foil lightly over the top.
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