OK. Me and winter? We just don’t get along. The weather has been nasty, and I’ve been trapped in the house alone with a feverish baby for the last 5 days. I’d like to say that I reconcile with the season by baking fresh pies for my neighbors and preparing elaborate multi-course meals for my family… but that’s just not compatible with my schedule. More often then not, dinner completely sneaks up on me and I end up throwing together some last-minute meal that is not exactly blog-worthy. My eternal quest for quick, simple yet delicious recipes has become urgent these days, which is why I’m happy to have stumbled upon this recipe. This was my first time trying my hand at a savory tarte tatin, and I was surprised by the ease and speed with which it came together. The result was beautiful and delicious. And while it didn’t completely rectify my resentment against old man winter, it certainly resolved dinner! I’m curious, how do you fight the winter blues?
Shallot Tarte Tatin
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter
- tsp (10 g) sugar
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 ml) balsamic vinegar*
- 12-14 shallots, peeled and halved
- salt and pepper
- one sheet of puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180 °C.
Heat the oil, butter and sugar in a 9-inch (23 cm) ovenproof pan or cast-iron skillet and cook until the butter has melted. Place the shallots, cut-side up, in the pan and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle with sugar, add the thyme then turn the shallots over so that they are cut-side down (the thyme should be on the bottom of the pan, underneath the shallots). There should be enough shallots to fill the entire pan and fit snugly in a single layer. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes, gently jiggling the pan every few minutes to keep them from sticking.
Cut the puff pastry into a rough circle that will fit over the pan and lay it over the shallots, tucking the edges down the sides. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Invert the tart onto platter and serve warm.
*if you have the good fortune to be cooking with real balsamic vinegar from Modena, only use a teaspoon of the precious syrup, and add 2 Tablespoons of water to the pan with it.