Tomato Tarte Tatin

March 23, 2012Katie

I’m featuring this post for a series for Food Network’s Summer Fest featuring tomatoes! At the end, please visit other bloggers sites all featuring summer tomatoes and their recipes as well!

I keep all my back copies of Bon Appetit magazine. It’s a good thing I kept my Gourmet ones too because they disappeared off the face of the earth a year back and I mourned them for a long time.

I was perusing through my August 2010 Bon Appetit magazine, and noticed a recipe I had bookmarked.  I remember why it intrigued me and the reason was because I was mildly intrigued due to the fact that this was marked as a dessert

And it involved tomatoes.

And I was skeptical about the tomatoes and dessert thing.

Highly skeptical.

So I set about making it.  Don’t let the name of this recipe throw you off.  It sounds fancy but it was super easy to make.  Well, except the whole peeling and seeding the tomatoes, but even that wasn’t bad.

Begin by setting out three tablespoons of butter to let come to room temperature.  Also set out one sheet of puff pastry dough to thaw (about 30-45 minutes).

The recipe called for one and three-fourths pounds of plum tomatoes.  Hello? It’s Oklahoma and I couldn’t find those on short notice, so I just bought Romas.

This is the tedious part of the dish, but it’s really about a ten minute process, tops.  Cut some small X’s in the bottom end of the tomato (opposite the stem end).

Now, keep in mind, you’ll need enough tomatoes that once they’re cut in half, will completely fill an iron skillet (or an oven safe skillet if you don’t have iron).

Now,  drop them about five at a time into a pot of boiling water for about thirty seconds to one minute.

Then you’ll need to scoop them out with a spider or slotted spoon and immerse them into an ice bath, (or a bowl of water with plenty of ice).

This makes the skins easily “pinch” right off of the tomato.

Once you’ve got all your tomatoes de-skinned, now you need to de-seed them and cut out the stem mark.  Just take a pointed teaspoon and gently scoop out all the seeds and the gooey gel that surrounds them. And slice off the stem mark with a paring knife.

I highly recommend doing this over a bowl.  It made for a pretty messy cutting board.  And in case you’re tempted to skip this step, don’t!  Your dish will be too watery!

Now, take a large cast iron skillet, or, if you don’t have one,  a skillet that is oven safe.  Take three tablespoons of room temperature butter and spread it with a spoon over the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup of sugar evenly over all of this.

Yes, I said 3/4 cup of sugar.  Now you see where this is going?  That much sugar mixed with up with butter and cooked over a stove usually involves caramelization in a big way.

Layer your tomatoes evenly over the bottom of the pan, sides touching and rounded sides down.

Over medium heat, begin to simmer these.

The butter and sugar will start to bubble and get yellow.  Keep cooking them, stirring to keep them from burning, occasionally for about 25 minutes.

While your tomatoes are cooking, prepare the puff pastry dough.  You should have let this set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to thaw.  Unfold it and then, using a rolling pin, roll it out so that it will be close to the size of your skillet.

After 25 minutes, your tomatoes should be breaking down nicely and there should be a syrup starting to bubble that’s deep amber and gooey looking.

Remove the skillet from the heat, lightly drizzle the vanilla around the tops of the tomatoes,  and take your puff pastry and just lay it over top of your skillet.

Bon Appetit’s recipe called for cutting the corners off to make it round, but I just tucked them around the sides and it worked perfectly.  A rule in my book is -no need to waste puff pastry dough ever, if you can possibly avoid it!  Take a hard spatula or knife and just kind of poke the corners down and around the the edges of the tomatoes.

Take a knife and make a few slits in the pastry.  Now pop this uncovered into a 425º oven.

And bake it for roughly 25 minutes or until the puff pastry is all browned and golden.

Then take a spatula or knife and run it around the edges of the pan to loosen any crust that may be stuck.

Place a large plate or serving platter on top of the skillet.

Have a big strong man (with an oven mitt) hold tightly to both the skillet and the platter, and clamp the two together.

And then flip the whole mess over quickly.  So now the skillet is upside down on the platter.

Then remove the skillet.

Let me just attempt to describe this to you.  The crust has been baked in the golden, caramel syrup as have the tomatoes.  The tomatoes have  become a warm jam-like consistency with the caramel and vanilla permeating into them. The crust is also crispy and caramel gooey at the same time.

The entire result is absolutely delicious.

And sweet and dessert-like.  Yes, I confess, it was dessert, in the finest way.

Next time I may venture forth and serve it with sweetened whipped cream like the recipe suggested.

But this time, it was pretty darn-near perfect.

Katie’s Printable Recipe –Tomato Tarte Tartin

Please let me know what you think about this recipe! If you make it, let me know how you like it! I truly do love hearing from my readers!

Please visit my fellow bloggers to see what they made with tomatoes!

Big Girls Small Kitchen: Seared Chicken with Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce

Haute Apple Pie: Heirloom Tomato & Three Cheese Tart

What’s Gaby Cooking: Zebra Tomato and Burrata Crostini

Zaika Zabardast: Balsamic Roasted Tomato-Basil Ice

And Love It Too: Healthy Lunchbox – Garlic Tomato Basil Pesto Bruchetta

Chez Us: Roasted Tomato Sauce

Daily*Dishin: Refreshing and Rustic – Tuscan Bread Salad

Glory Foods: Fresh Tomato Salsa

Dishin and Dishes: Tomato Tart Tatin

The Purple Cook: Eggplant Parmesan Caprese Salad

I Am Mommy: Tomato Crudite

Cooking With My Kid: Gluten-Free White Bean Chive Cakes with Heirloom Tomatoes

FN Dish: Easy Tomato Appetizers

Add a Pinch: Simple Caprese Salad Skewers

Sweet Life Bake: Salsa Cruda

Virtually Homemade: Farfalle with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Bacon and Shaved Romano

Dixie Chik Cooks: Tomato, Basil and Olive Bruschetta

The Sensitive Epicure: Yemista – Greek Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers with Potatoes

Mooshu Jenne: Sun Burst Tomato Pasta

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Book Club, Tomatoes and a Recipe for Chicken Provençal?

Cooking With Elise: Tomato Parmesan Biscuits

From My Corner of Saratoga: Cooking from the Garden – Bruschetta Pizza

Fritos and Foie Gras: Tomato Terrine

Creative Culinary: Fresh and Savory Tomato Pie

Big Apple Nosh: Caprese Salad/Tomato Carnage

Spices and Aroma: Quick and Easy Paneer Curry

Zaika Zabardast: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Breakfast Rolls

How You Can Join in Summer Fest


Summer Fest 2011Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? You can contribute to our online recipe swap in various ways, big or small.


Contribute a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.


Or think bigger: Publish entire posts of your own, if you wish, and grab the juicy Summer Fest tomato badge (illustrated by Matt of Matt Bites).


To join the Summer Fest conversation on twitter, use the hash tag #cookingwith.


Summer Fest 2011 Posting Schedule

August 13: Tomatoes
September 14: Broccoli

Join us on these days to see what we all make!


  • Robbin

    March 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I have never heard or met someone who has kept all their issues of Bon Appetit magazines like me. My family makes fun of me for keeping them but I refuse to give them up. I feel like we are sisters...LOL. Shall we discuss the Nov 1987 issue? (smile)
    1. Katie

      March 30, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Robbin - wow 1987? I was in high school! I don't have any that old but yes! I do keep them all now!

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