Tomato season is upon us and we're always looking for something new and creative to do with any and all manner of tomato whether small like cherry and grape tomatoes or large like heirloom and plum tomatoes. When we were at the beach yesterday leafing through the most recent bon appétit, we couldn't believe the originality of the recipe for Tomato Tarte Tatin. In its apple form, Tarte Tatin is one of my all time favorite desserts so why wouldn't a tomato one be equally as good? The first thing I had to wrap my head around was that this is still a dessert. It may be difficult to fathom as you're preparing the tomatoes, but when you taste this tart all doubts about its dessert status melt away. The writers at bon appétit said, "As the tomatoes cook in the caramel, they become sweet and tender but retain their clean, fresh flavor. Prepare to be blown away." And they were right, we were blown away not only with the incredible flavor and texture but with how easy it was to assemble. Peter made it while I watched. Be adventurous, try this tart, you'll like it! (Note: The tomatoes in the photograph are not plum tomatoes, we had none left after making the tart!)
Tomato Tarte Tatin
1 3/4 pounds plum tomatoes (8 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3 ounce package), thawed, corners cut off to make very rough 9-10 inch round
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Bring large saucepan of water to boil.
- Cut shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Add 4 tomatoes to boiling water. Blanch tomatoes just until the skins at X begin to peel back, 15-30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.
- Peel tomatoes. Cut out cores, halve lengthwise, and remove seeds.
- Spread butter over bottom of 9 1/2 inch diameter, 2-3 inch deep oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron).
- Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over butter.
- Arrange tomato halves, rounded side down and close together, in concentric circles in skillet to fill completely.
- Place skillet over medium heat. Cook until sugar and butter are reduced to thickly bubbling, deep amber syrup (about 1/4 inch deep in bottom of skillet), moving tomatoes occasionally to prevent burning, about 25 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat.
- Immediately drizzle vanilla over tomatoes.
- Top with the pastry round. Using a knife, tuck in edges of pastry.
- Place the skillet in oven and bake tart until pastry is deep golden brown, about 24 minutes.
- Cool tart in skillet 10 minutes.
- Cut around sides of skillet to loosen pastry. Place large platter over skillet. Using oven mitts as aid, hold skillet and platter firmly together and invert, allowing tart to settle onto platter. Carefully lift of skillet. Rearrange any tomato halves that my have become dislodged.
- Serve tart warm or at room temperature, with whipping cream if you like.