Tomato Tarte Tatin is Simply Elegant
What is a Tarte Tatin?
You have probably heard of Apple Tarte Tatin (tarte tatin aux pommes), the French version of hot apple pie. Slices of apple caramelized in a pan on the stove or in the oven before placing puff pastry dough on top and baking it further. Before serving the pan is turned over so the pastry is on the bottom and the hot caramelized fruit on top.
Although tarte tatin is often made with fruit, a savory version made with vegetables can be just as delicious. A few months ago I shared on this site my recipe for Belgian Endive Pie, another delicious savory combination. At that time I also made a Tomato Tarte Tatin (see photo below). However, I wanted to work on the recipe a little more before sharing it. It needed a few adjustments.
Special Effortless Dish for Family Meal
Last Sunday I invited some family over for a casual lunch. I decided to try again the Tomato Tarte Tatin to serve with a salad. What a simple elegant lunch that looks like it takes more time and effort than it actually does! Isn’t that our goal when hosting friends and family?
I first prepared some Quick Puff Pastry Dough to use with my Tomato Tarte Tatin. I then caramelized the tomatoes in a non-stick pan on the stove. Afterwards I placed the tomatoes in an attractive pattern: large tomatoes in circles from the outer edges, cocktail tomatoes in circles in the center, and cherry tomatoes to fill the empty space.
Four Topping Variations
I added four variations of toppings before gently placing the dough on top and folding in the edges. Adding these four variations of toppings allowed me to try five different versions of Tomato Tarte Tatin (4 variations plus 1 without any topping) while only making a single pie. That’s what I call multitasking!
The four toppings shown above in the photo include: black olive tapenade (at 9 o’clock on the pie); grated Parmesan cheese (at 12 o’clock on the pie); crumbled Danish blue cheese (at 3 o’clock on the pie); and grated Manchego cheese (at 6 o’clock on the pie). I left space between each topping so we could taste the flavor of the Tomato Tarte Tatin on its own. Separating the toppings also helped ensure the tastes of the toppings would not blend together so each could be sampled unadulterated.
Three Sizes of Tomatoes
I also used three types and sizes of tomatoes (medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes and cherry tomatoes) so that the tomatoes would fill all the spaces on the pie. Last time I made the Tomato Tarte Tatin I used only medium vine-ripened tomatoes, which left too much empty space on top of the crust and caused the tomatoes to move around a bit. See photo above with the Belgian Endive Pie and compare with the photo below. Using different sized tomatoes resolved these problems. Feel free to experiment with different varieties of tomatoes and arrange them as you like.
Adjusting the Menu for Extra Guests
When my guests arrived I discovered that we would be six to share the meal instead of only three. What to do? Fortunately, it’s family so no real worries about last minute preparations.
As I still had some dough left over, one of my Belgian sisters and I teamed up to make a quiche with bacon bits, leeks and grated cheese. (I will share this recipe in a separate post). We ended up having enough ingredients to make one large and one small quiche. The quiches were thrown together with love as the Tomato Tarte Tatin baked in the oven. We also prepared a simple salad with butter lettuce, tomatoes and shallots. We placed the quiches in the oven as we removed the Tomato Tarte Tatin.
We cut the Tomato Tarte Tatin into eight pieces, dishing out one piece to each of us as an appetizer. We each took a bite from our plate and then passed it to the right so we could each try all variations and compare our notes afterwards. Passing the plates around while taking a bite made this appetizer course much more fun and intimate. In French, you’d call this experience as being convivial, which is often used to describe an event where food is shared among the guests at a table, such as fondue, raclette, or other family-style dishes. After we finished the six pieces we then shared the last two to make sure we tasted all variations.
At the end, we shared our comments about each variation. We seemed to agree that the slices with the Parmesan cheese and the Danish blue cheese were the most tasty, along with the slices without any added topping.
The taste of the black olive tapenade and the Manchego cheese was not strong enough to really distinguish themselves from the other ingredients. We could taste the tapenade and Manchego cheese slightly, but not enough to recommend trying these two variations.
Of course, you can try other strong cheese which crumble, such as feta or Roquefort. Be adventurous and try your own variations. Some people caramelize onions or other vegetables to add with the tomatoes. You can also add some dried or fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage to the tomatoes to round off the flavor, yet none is really needed.
Afterwards we enjoyed the quiche with a simple salad.
Try the Tomato Tarte Tatin on its own or alongside another savory pie, such as the Belgian Endive Pie or a quiche. Serve it on its own or accompanying a soup or salad. For more ideas, click on the link to find recipes for more than 100 Quiches and Savory Tarts! on Pinterest. Remember to share the joy by forwarding the link to this post to your friends. I’d love to read your comments below. Bon appétit!
Tomato Tarte Tatin
- 270 g puff pastry dough homemade or store-bought
- 850 g tomato vine-ripened
- 600 g tomato cocktail
- 400 g tomato cherry
- 6 tbsp olive oil (or half olive oil half butter)
- 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1 dash salt
- black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried herbs thyme, oregano, rosemary or sage (optional)
- 125 g cheese Parmesan, Roquefort, Blue Cheese or Parmesan (optional)
- Wash tomatoes. Cut the medium vine-ripened tomatoes in half (horizontally). Leave the cocktail tomatoes and cherry tomatoes whole.
- Put half of the oil in one pan over a medium to high flame on the stove. Put the other half of oil in another pan also over a medium to high flame.
- In one pan place the medium tomatoes open-side up. In the other pan place the whole cocktail tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Add some salt and black pepper. If you are adding herbs, add them in at this time if dried or before placing the dish in the oven if fresh herbs are used. Leave to cook about 5 minutes. (The smaller tomatoes may need less time).
- When the tomatoes have darkened on the bottom, add half the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle half the sugar into one pan and the other half of balsamic vinegar and sugar in the other pan. Careful not to put them on the tomatoes, but into the pans. Tilt the pans to mix. Reduce heat and continue to cook uncovered about 20 minutes, turning over the tomatoes gently from time to time.
- The tomatoes should remain in tact (whole) and the liquid in the pan should become thicker like a syrup. Turn off the flame.
- Place the tomatoes (the open-side up) in a baking dish in an attractive pattern. You can add some of the remaining syrup in the bottom of the dish, but don't add much as the pie won't caramelize well if you put in too much syrup.
- If you are adding toppings, such as cheese, spread the topping on top of the open-faced tomatoes.
- Roll out the puff pastry dough and place loosely on top of the pie dish, folding the edges into the pan. Don't prepare the crust borders like you would an ordinary pie as you will turn the dish over onto the crust when it's cooked, so the crust needs to slide out.
- Place the pie dish in the middle of a 200°C / 400°F preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or more until the top is lightly brown.
- Remove the dish from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes before turning it over onto a plate. I use another baking dish of the same size to turn it over into.
- Slice it into the portions desired. Serve and enjoy!