Know what can be somewhat difficult about blogging? It’s not buying ingredients or baking recipes, and it’s definitely not enjoying the fruits of our labor. Nope, all those things are pretty much a standard part of our life. But one difficult part of sharing this life with you dear reader is snapping up a technicolor photo of the finished dish. We sometimes eat at an embarrassing late hour and winter’s darkness seemed to sneak in suddenly last month, which means you’ve really got to time your projects right if you want to capture the moment in just the right light. In Chicago, TH had a fun little light kit called the “Cowboy Studio” which I would borrow for photo shoots come nightfall, but it didn’t make our European move. Usually Sundays are allotted for my blogging photos but on a weekend like this past, when we snuck in a quick trip to Munich, there was no time to cook. We arrived home to a fridge full of these pretty tomatoes from last week’s farm delivery, the last of the summer, and although the weather seemed too chilly to be eating tomatoes, I wanted to make this tart.
Of course, by the time the dough was rolled, the tomatoes were caramelized, and the tart was out of the oven, Berlin’s night was already dark. And it’s actually the second time I’ve tried to capture this tart for you. The first time I prepared it for a dinner party, a bit too late to snap a photo. But I really loved the recipe, the idea of letting the tomatoes caramelize in the pan, then covering it with a flaky dough and letting the whole thing bake. It was the perfect comfort food after our weekend trip. And it’s actually a great dish if you are cooking for a group—although there’s a bit of prep at first, with the dough and cleaning the tomatoes, once you have it started, you’re free to move onto other tasks while it bakes. To make the recipe a bit easier, swap frozen puff pastry for the dough.
I hope you can tell from this photo, snapped under the Berlin moonlight, that this tart is divine. Flaky crust, sweet caramelized onions, and cheese: delicious. We didn’t have any onion so I snuck in some shredded, sautéed zucchini and the tomatoes are so sweet and wonderful that TH hardly realized! If you have any late summer tomatoes left, I highly recommend this one. Just remember to squeeze them into the pan since they’ll shrink up as they roast. Enjoy!
Tomato Tarte Tatin, adapted from Design Sponge
Servings: 4 to 6 peices
200 grams flour
1 teaspoon salt
100 grams butter, cut into cubes and chilled
Combine flour and salt into a medium bowl. And butter and work into the flour using two forks or a pastry cutter until a sandy texture is formed. Add the egg and mix until just combined and a dough forms. If the mixture is too dry, add ice cold water one teaspoon at a time. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 pounds tomatoes, plum work best but cherry tomatoes will do
Basil flowers or other herbs, chopped
1 large onion or 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed to remove excess water and packed tightly
¼ cup grated fontina or parmesan cheese
Set your oven at 350°F.
Cut tomatoes in half; carefully core and remove the seeds, reserving pulp for tomato sauce or soup.
Drizzle oil in a 10-inch round baking dish or sauté pan and lay the tomatoes skin side down in the pan, tightly filling to accommodate for shrinkage. Top with basil flowers or herbs, salt, and pepper and roast for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to soften and caramelize.
While the tomatoes are cooking, cut your onion into thin slices. Place a sauté pan over low heat, add some olive oil, and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. If using zucchini, turn up the heat to medium high. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before you take the tomatoes out of the oven, remove dough from refrigeration and roll out to a 10-inch round. Spread the onions/zucchini on top of the tomatoes, add the grated cheese and top with the dough, tucking the edges in. Return pan to oven and bake until dough is golden brown, another 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, and unmold by running a pairing knife along the edges. Place a serving tray on top of the pastry, flip over, and serve.