Food + Wine

Tomato and Onion Tarte Tatin

I’ve been kicked out of my house today.  No, my husband didn’t finally get sick of me (yet), I’ve been kicked out because we’re getting a new HVAC installed.  It’s a two day job, so considering there will be no air conditioning, lots of big men lifting heavy things up and down my staircase and banging hammers into walls, I decided it was best to take the kids to my parents house so they would actually sleep.  Oddly enough, my parents are out of town for the next couple of days, so I kinda feel like a teenager again being ‘alone’ in my old home.  It’s incredibly tempting to invite a bunch of people over, raid the liquor cabinet, then take their car out for a drive.

I actually got my son to go down for his nap on time, only he didn’t fall asleep until right before I got the baby to go down for her nap.  Once she woke up after a very short snooze, he was still sleeping so she and I walked around looking at old pictures for about 30 minutes until she realized she didn’t get all the sleep she needed the first time.  So I put her down yet again, and since now my son is still sleeping, I have a lot of time on my hands.  I already picked the arugula from my mothers garden as instructed, so I decided to make good use of my time by posting a new recipe.

I made this yesterday, and although we ended up eating it for dinner, it would be best eaten for lunch with a simple salad (an arugula one would be nice…)  I recommend making this with either cherry or grape tomatoes because I think they make a prettier tart, but using the halves of Roma tomatoes would also be good.  This dish could still be made in the off season, you just may need to add a bit more sugar to the tomatoes as they’re cooking.  If you’ve never made a tarte tatin, it’s nothing too scary…you’re just basically making an upside down tart in a skillet instead of a tart pan that will be flipped once it’s finished cooking. I like to make my own crust, but if you don’t wanna bother with that, I suggest using store-bought puff pastry.  The filling is so good, you could also just use it to make a standard tart and not even bother with the flipping.  Your choice!

*Tomato and Onion Tarte Tatin

-In a food processor place 1 cup AP flour, 1 stick of cold, unsalted butter that you’ve cut into small pieces, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt + a pinch.  Pulse this until it looks like grated parmesan cheese.
-Add in 1 egg yolk and pulse again.  While you’re pulsing, slowly pour ice water into the mixer, drop by drop until the mixture begins to come together.  You just want everything moistened, not wet.
-Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll out to slightly larger than the 9-10 inch skillet you will be using.
-Carefully place the rolled out dough onto the back side of a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap or parchment, and cover with more plastic wrap.  Refrigerate while you make your filling…

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

-In the 9-10 inch skillet, saute 1 large onion that you’ve sliced in some olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  When the onion have begun to brown, add in 2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes.  Toss to coat them in the olive oil, adding more if necessary.  Season with more salt and pepper.  Allow the tomatoes to wrinkle up and begin to burst (about 15 min or so), stirring often.  (Poke any of the stubborn tomatoes with a knife to break their skins).
-Once your tomatoes have softened a bit, add 2 TB of unsalted butter, 2 TB light brown sugar, 3/4-1 TB minced rosemary, 1 TB tomato paste, 1/4 tsp ground allspice and 2 splashes of balsamic vinegar (about 2 TB).  Stir this well and let it bubble for about a minute.
-Turn the heat off, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool a bit.  Arrange your tomatoes and onions in a pretty way, because this will end up being the top of your tart.

-When the pan is cool enough to handle but still very warm, remove your crust from the fridge and carefully place it over the pan, tucking the dough under along the sides of the pan.  Vent the crust by making 5-6 tiny slits in the center of the dough.

-Carefully place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 min, or until the crust is a nice, golden brown.

-Place your skillet on a rack to cool for 10-15 minutes and then carefully invert your tart by placing a large plate over the top and flipping it over.  If you’re lucky, it will all come out.  If you’re slightly unlucky, just piece it back together and hide your holes with a garnish of either goat cheese or shaved parmesan, and some fresh basil leaves.

(*recipe idea inspired by Good Housekeeping magazine)







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