My Best Tomato Tarte Tatin... In My Opinion.
As most of you have figured out, we love good food. So that means, we eat out quite often and gather around our table for home cooked meals as often as we can. I get ideas for dishes from a large collection of cookbooks, several cooking magazines and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and New York Times Food sections.
The last eighteen months, Shirley and I have embarked on a mission to improve our health through a change in life style including riding bikes and a fish and plant based diet. We are not fanatics by any means, but we do eat less pasta and bread, and desserts appear on our table less frequently. I have cut out red meat except for lamb occasionally when we are in the South of France.
We have enjoyed tomato tarte tatins on several occasions in Provence most recently a few weeks ago as part of a vegetarian tasting menu at Les Remparts in Venasque. After seeing a picture of a delicious looking tomato tarte tatin in a post by my friend Barbara from Cuisine de Provence, I decided I would try again to make one.
I say once again, because I made one several times a few years back and shared the recipe with all of you in a "Our House in Sablet" post. While the recipe I did then, was very tasty, I didn't think it was quite as good as the one at Les Remparts.
So I did a search of my cookbooks and on line and compared what I found to the tomato tarte tatin I made before. This is what I came up with.
I started by thinly slicing 3 medium red onions, then sautéing the onions in a skillet with 4 sliced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of crystallized sugar until caramelized, 10 - 15 minutes.
I cored and sliced 3 pounds of tomatoes, once Roma tomatoes and several times dry farmed Early Girls. I place them cut side up on rimmed baking sheet. Lightly salt and sprayed lightly with olive oil. Roasted the tomatoes for 2.5 hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Turned off oven and left in oven till it cooled completely. You can roast them the night before and leave them in the oven to cool overnight.
I preheated the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven preheated, I prepared a light caramel sauce in a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the top of the stove with 1/2 cup crystallized sugar, 4 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon Sherry vinegar. I then arranged the tomatoes on top of the caramel sauce, face side down.
I sprinkled 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves evenly over the tomatoes.
I arranged the caramelized onions evenly over the tomatoes and then sprinkled 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the onions.
I rolled out a puff pastry sheet into a 13 inch round. I use store bought frozen dough, that I thaw for a couple of hours before I am ready to roll it out. I like the Dufour brand.
I draped the dough over the cast iron skillet and tucked the edges down into pan. I cut slits in top of pastry.
Baked for 25-30 minutes until crust is puffed and golden brown and delicious. Removed from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
I placed a large plate (larger than the cast iron skillet) on top of skillet. You have to carefully flip over. You can return any tomatoes that are stuck to skillet back to tarte tatin.
This was so good. It was as good or better than the one we ate at Les Remparts.
3 pounds medium size tomatoes. On a couple of occasions, I used different color tomatoes.
3 medium red onions
4 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped Thyme leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
14 ounces puff pastry. You will have extra. Freeze the leftover for another dish.
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crystallized sugar
4 Tablespoons water
1/3 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1. Thinly slice 3 medium onions.
2. Caramelize the onions with 4 sliced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of crystallized sugar. 15 - 20 minutes.
3. Core tomatoes and slice in half. Place cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Lightly salt and spray lightly with olive oil.
4. Roast tomatoes in 275 degree Fahrenheit oven for 2 1/2 hours. Cool completely. You can do this over night.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Prepare caramel in 12 inch cast iron pan with 1/2 cup crystallized sugar, 4 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon Sherry vinegar.
7. Arrange roasted tomatoes on top of caramel, face side down. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Thyme leaves over tomatoes.
8. Arrange caramelized onions evenly over tomatoes. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over onions.
9. Roll puff pastry sheet out and cut out 13 inch round and drape over cast iron skillet. Tuck edges of pastry into pan. Cut slits on top of pastry.
10. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until crust is puffed and golden brown and delicious.
11. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
12. Place large plate on top of skillet and carefully flip over. Return any tomatoes that are stuck to skillet back to tarte tatin.
You can serve warm or at room temperature. It is delicious the next day.