Tarte Tatin – that classic French dish in which fruit (though it can be veges as well) is caramelized in a fry-pan and then baked upside-down under a puff pastry crust, before being inverted onto a serving plate – was a complete unknown to me up until a couple of years ago.
I’d have probably carried on being ignorant of its existence had it not been for The Daring Kitchen, who challenged us to make a Tarte Tatin. In response, I made an Apple Tarte Tatin which just blew me away – seriously one of the best desserts I’d ever had! Then, just recently, I saw this recipe for Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin with Buffalo Mozzarella, while thumbing through one of Donna Hay’s magazines (Feb/Mar 2017, Issue 91).
I was kind of curious as to what tomatoes (technically still a fruit) would be like caramelized – and, having made it, may I just say… ‘Wow’! The blend of sweetened tomatoes, along with the herbaceous oregano, salty mozzarella and sour vinegar is a revelation! And then, of course, the puff pastry (or rough puff pastry, in my case) which adds a buttery, flaky, delicate crispness to the whole affair. Pure, unadulterated culinary bliss.
The recipe creates two average sized tarts, enough for four people, however I halved the recipe and made two small saucer-sized servings instead. And, by the way, while Donna suggests the use of white wine vinegar (no doubt, so as not to discolour the tomatoes) I used balsamic vinegar which, to me, was a marriage made in Heaven. And, BTW, while buffalo mozzarella is the perfect accompaniment to the tarte tatin, good old cow’s milk mozzarella is a reasonable substitute if you find the buffalo variety hard to source.
Either way, this is one stunning dish – serve it up for lunch, or along with a side-salad for dinner, and you’ll be one happy camper. Enjoy!
- 2 sheets all-butter frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used home-made rough puff pastry)
- 1/4 cup (45g) brown sugar
- 40g (1.4 oz) unsalted butter, chopped
- 600g (21 oz) heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
- 1 (200g/7 oz) buffalo mozzarella (you can use cow's milk mozzarella instead)
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 240C (475F).
- Cut out an 18cm (7 inch) circle from each pastry sheet and cut 3 small slits in the middle of each. Refrigerate until needed.
- Place 2 x 16cm (6 inch) non-stick ovenproof frying pans over moderately high heat. Divide the sugar and butter between the pans and cook, stirring occasionally. Cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and caramelised.
- Divide whole tomatoes between the pans and cook for 4 minutes, gently shaking the pans.
- Top the tomatoes with the pastry circles and place in the oven to cook for 12 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden.
- Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes to cool.
- Carefully turn out onto plates and top each with the vinegar, mozzarella, oregano, salt, pepper and oil to serve.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting