Tomato Tarte Tatin

IMG_0149This is a really nice twist on the apple tarte tatin and makes for a gorgeous lunch. There are conflicting stories on how the apple tarte tatin originated. It is knows to have come from a hotel in France run by two Tatin sisters. I used to prefer the version where the less culinary-adept sister made a shambles of a traditional apple tart and tipped it out of its pan and served it to the hotel diners who loved it. As I served up my tomato tart I relayed this story to my own sister who doesn’t have much interest in cooking and she pointed out how funny it would be if she made some mistake in the kitchen, resulting in the invention of some new amazing dish, cementing her name in the history books, or history cookbooks at least. I then realised how grossly unrealistic the fictional story is and it must have been a conscious, creative decision by the more skilled Tatin sister.

Either way, the caramel which was sharpened with balsamic vinegar worked really well with the tomatoes and onions. The olives and goat cheese gave lovely saltiness all topped with the freshness from basil. Although I made this on a dreary mid-November day and it disappeared fast, I think it would work very well as a summer lunch. It’s veggie too and can be made vegan by omitting the cheese, using olive oil instead of butter and using a vegan puff pastry.

Tomato Tarte Tatin


  • 320 g puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 red onions
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Half a cup of Kalamata olives, chopped and pitted
  • 500g small tomatoes, mix of colours and types
  • Quarter cup and a pinch of sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Goat cheese and basil leaves to garnish


  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions, finely sliced, and a pinch of sugar.
  2. Fry for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelised and soft.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of water to deglaze and stir until reduced and thickened and set aside.
  4. In an oven-proof pan add the sugar and water and cook until melted and amber in colour.
  5. Do not stir the pan but shake it gently to dissolve.
  6. Add the vinegar and gently shake the pan to incorporate the vinegar into the caramel.
  7. Add the olives and turn off the heat.
  8. Add the tomatoes spreading them evenly in a single layer.
  9. Spread the caramelised onions over the layer of tomatoes.
  10. Roll out the pastry so it is 3 mm or one eighth of an inch thick and place over the onions, tucking the edges into the sides so that when it is inverted it will be concave-shaped.
  11. With a knife, make a few small holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape during baking.
  12. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes then allow to cool for 5 minutes before inverting it quickly but carefully onto a serving dish.
  13. Scatter crumbled goats cheese and basil leaves onto the top and serve.
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