Monday, October 5, 2009

Real Life/Tomato-Shallot Tarte Tatin

Everyone is always telling me to take advantage of my last year of university. Apparently, the best years of my life are ending and I have to live it up while I still can, because soon enough "real life" will start. I don't know if I agree with that, I really hope that even when summer no longer means 4 months of time off and winter holidays turns into Christmas day, I will still be having fun. The fact is, I didn't leave my house once on Saturday because I was studying; that doesn't really sound like fun to me. I am not complaining, that's what you do when you're a student, but Saturday in the midst of excel spreadsheets and journal articles, I paused to think about what I would be doing if I weren't studying. Maybe I would be out for a walk, maybe a fun brunch with friends, but most probably I would be cooking something new. So I promised myself that yesterday, despite my work, I would do at least one of those things.

My leftover puff pastry has been haunting me from my fridge for almost a week now. I promised myself that something delicious was on the way, but I couldn't figure out what to make. This is precious stuff. Homemade puff pastry is no small feat, and I had to be certain that whatever I made with it would be perfect. I wanted a savory dish that would be the star of my Sunday dinner. Tonight, a star was definitely born.

This savory tarte tatin is a perfect combination of flaky buttery crust and sweet oven roasted tomatoes and shallots. I roasted the vegetables with a touch of balsamic vinegar which thickened and made a delicious glaze for the tarte.
I wish I could descibe how superb this tarte really is, instead, I will tell you to try it for yourself. Buy some puff pastry, store bought works just as well as home made and it will definitely save you a lot of time and effort. Use whichever vegetables you like best, but I definitely suggest keeping onions or shallots in the mix, they caramelize nicely and add a great touch of sweetness. Although there is a bit of time involved, most of it is hands off so you can take care of whatever it is that needs taking care of. This is a great dish to serve as a starter for a dinner with friends and works just as well as a main course for a weekend dinner. No matter when you make it or who you make it for, I promise that once you have a bite you will not regret it.
Tomato-Shallot Tarte Tatin
Serves (6-8 appetizers, 4 main courses)
1 sheet of store bought puff pastry (thawed)
10 shallots, peeled and quartered
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1) Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the tomatoes and shallots on the baking sheet and drizzle with the vinegar and olive and sprinkle with the salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the onions are cooked through and golden. Leave the oven on.
2) Oil the bottom of an 8-inch round baking dish. Place the roasted vegetables in the bottom of the dish.
3) Cut a 10-inch circle of puff pastry from the sheet (this can be approximated, it should just be larger than the baking dish so it can fully cover your vegetables). Lay the dough on top of your vegetables and tuck the extra into the sides of the baking dish (this will create the crust for your tarte).
4) Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown.
5) Immediately run a knife around the edge of your tarte to loosen it gently. Then cover with a plate and quickly flip over so the tarte falls onto the plate. If any of the vegetables stick to the inside of the pan, just scoop them up and place them back on the tarte.
6) Serve hot or at room temperature.

• If you want to eat this the next day just warm it up in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
• For ideas with what to do with your leftover pastry scraps check out this recipe from Martha Stewart.


pdc said...

Yummy, Yummy, even though I am not allowed wheat< i will still experiment when I have people for dinner

codfish said...

Oh, tonight I'm home alone and this looks like the perfect way to indulge for a solo dinner.

And there's no reason that "real life" can't be the best time of your life, trust me. ;)

redmenace said...

Puff pastry is a lifesaver! Love it. Love the blog. And, yes, live it up now. Real life--- well... not nearly as much fun!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

holy cow! Homemade puff pastry?!! I am so impressed. I probably would have let it rot while trying to think of something worthy. Your savory tarte tatin sounds fantastic!

What a great inspiration.

peasepudding said...

That's my kind of tart! i also have puff pastry left in the freezer and need to get making something with it this weekend!

moonglowgardens said...

I cannot wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing.

moonglowgardens said...

I cannot wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing.