Saturday, 4 May 2013

Shallot Tarte Tatin

I love savoury tatins, and made with bought puff pastry they are quick and simple and can be made with lots of different veg - I've made it with beetroot and with parsnips in the past, and I think carrots, butternut squash or sweet potatoes would be worth a try.

This time, however, I used shallots, and flavoured it with balsamic vinegar ant thyme.

Recipe (serves 2)

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
4 torpedo shallots
30g butter
1 tbs Sweet Freedom syrup (you could use clear honey)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
a small handful of fresh thyme, chopped
parmesan flakes to serve

You will need a small non-stick frying pan with an ovenproof handle - I used a 20cm one.

Before you start to cook, use the pan as a template to cut a circle of pastry the diameter of the top of the pan, and set this aside to chill.

Heat the oven to the temperature directed on your pack of pastry.

Peel and halve the shallots, being careful to keep all the layers joined at the base. Heat the butter in the frying pan and cook the shallots for around 10 minutes until browned all over. Remove from the pan and  set aside. Add the syrup and boil for 2 minutes, until it starts to caramelise, then quickly stir in the balsamic (look out for spluttering - the droplet will be very hot) and remove from the heat.

Arrange the shallots cut side down in the sticky mixture, sprinkle with thyme, season if desired then tuck the pastry over the top and bake in the pre heated oven for 15-20 mins until  risen and golden.

When cooked, carefully invert the pan onto a heatproof serving plate, sprinkle with parmesan flakes and serve.

The topping will look very black - it isn't burnt, it's the rich dark colour of the balsamic vinegar, and it's well worth putting up with the rather odd appearance for the wonderful flavour it adds.

I served it with Chantenay carrots cooked with orange and cumin, although with hindsight I wish I'd put something green on the plate as well.

As for the left over puff pastry, as this doesn't need the whole sheet, spread it with sun dried tomato pesto (from a jar), sprinkle with grated parmesan, roll up, slice about 1cm thick and bake on another shelf of the oven, and you have a tray of tangy tomato nibbles!

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