There are a plethora (love that word) of recipes out there for tomato tartes tatin, and they are surprisingly different. Many look prettier than mine, in that the tomatoes remain plump and neat as they are cooked for a much shorter time. However after a few experiments I found that they just spurt their juice everywhere when sliced and are disappointingly watery.
So here I pre-cook the tomatoes, and deliberately give them a bit of a squash with a fork so the juices run into the pan. These juices are then cooked down with some sugar and balsamic vinegar to make a sticky glaze which gives some real ‘oomph’ to the tomatoes and a deep savoury-ness to what could otherwise be a bit of a bland tart.
This is delicious when warm – not straight from the oven (too messy), and not cold (slightly claggy texture), but is just as good re-heated the following day. Lovely served with Jersey Royals and a crisp green salad.
- 650 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 230 g circle of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 50 g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the cherry tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes turning occasionally until starting to brown and release their juices. Squash the tomatoes gently with a fork to release even more juice, and remove from the heat.
Oil the base of a 24cm cake tin, springform tin or ovenproof frying pan, and scatter in the pine nuts. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and arrange in your tin/pan, then season with salt and black pepper. Heat up the remaining tomato juices left in the pan, and add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Boil for a minute or two until the liquid has turned syrupy, then pour it over the tomatoes. Grate the parmesan-style cheese over the tomatoes.
Unroll the circle of puff pastry and spread it evenly with the sun-dried tomato paste. Pick up the pastry so it is tomato-paste side down, and place over the tomatoes, tucking in the sides if necessary so that the tomatoes are completely covered. Prick the pastry in 5 or 6 places with a sharp knife to release steam as it is cooking.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, by which time the pastry should be golden and crispy. Leave to rest in the tin for 5 minutes, then place your serving plate over the tin and flip it over to turn out, (top tip - I do this over the sink as some stray juices always escape!). Slice and serve!
Make it vegan: Just omit the parmesan, (remember to adjust seasoning accordingly – you may want to add a little more salt), and check that your puff pastry is vegan.