Tomato Tatin

This is a variation on the classic Tarte Tatin with apples. But instead of apples you use cherry tomatoes and it is served as a appetizer or main dish instead of dessert. It never fails to amaze.


Pie crust pastry, purchased (puff or pie) or home-made

2 tbsps butter or olive oil

3 medium onions (red or white), sliced

¼ cup sugar

½ tbsp vinegar, sherry or modena (or to taste)

1 cup black olives, pitted and halved lengthwise

500 grams (aprox) cherry tomatoes, red and yellow if possible

1 tbsp chopped thyme (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

You must have a round frying pan or skillet that can be used in the oven.


Preheat oven to 220ºC. Cut pastry to fit round frying pan you are using. Cover and keep cold. The pastry not the frying pan !!

Melt butter or oil in large pan. Add onions and a pinch of sugar and cook over a slow fire, stirring, until onions are golden and caramelized, about 15/20 minutes. Add a little water and let cook a few seconds more, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen. Transfer the onions to a bowl.

In a clean oven-proof frying pan combine the sugar and a little water. Cook over medium heat swirling the pan (do not stir) until the sugar melts and turns a light tan color. Add the vinegar CAREFULLY (it will splatter)  and swirl the pan a little. Remove the pan from the heat.

Off the heat, add the halved olives to the caramel, then the tomatoes and, last, the onions. Season with the thyme, if using, and salt and pepper. Cover with the pastry pushing down the edges to form a “cap”, then make a few slits in it so the steam can escape.

Bake in the oven until the pastry is done. Take out of oven, let rest for a few minutes and then, holding the pastry on the top with a hotpad, tip the juice from the frying pan into another small pan. Let the tart cool for about 5 minutes. Then place a serving platter on top and  quickly flip it over onto the serving platter.

While the tart is cooling, reduce the juices in the small pan until thick and syrupy. (Be careful. It can burn quickly because of the sugar). After flipping the tart onto the serving platter, pour the syrup over the tart and serve.

Back to recipe list.

        © Richard Stephens Ely 2019