Shallot Tarte Tatin

(makes 1 | 40 minutes | medium)

A classic French pastry dish, but with a little twist. Tarte Tatin was created by the Tatin sisters, in their hotel, who served an upside down apple cake and named it after themselves. It quickly became one of the most popular desserts and way of cooking – upside down – fruit with pastry. My version, with shallots, is great as an antipasto or for a quick lunch, as it is simple to make.

1 roll of puff pastry – 6 or 7 shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise – 2 tsp sugar – 3 tsp balsamic vinegar – fresh thyme sprigs – fresh rosemary – olive oil – round baking dish 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Heat the pan over a medium heat with a few lugs of olive oil. Add the shallots, cut-side up, making sure you have enough shallots to cover the base of the baking dish. Cook for 3-4 minutes, before sprinkling over the sugar, then flip them over (so that cut side is down).
  2. Lower the heat and pour in the balsamic vinegar, the two herbs (without stems) and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.
  3. Place the cooked shallots onto the baking dish, cut side down, and make sure there are no gaps (if there are, cook a few more shallot halves). Roll the puff pastry over the dish and tuck it well, encasing the shallots below. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  4. Once cooked, place a large dish over the baking tray and flip it around, allowing for the puff pastry to lie on the dish with the shallots on top. They might stick to the baking dish so leave it on top of the serving dish for a few minutes to allow the shallots to drop or remove them with a spoon and reassemble them onto the tarte. 

Serve hot!