Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin

July 22, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • makes One 12-inch tarte tatin
Author Notes

The upside-down tarte tatin method works great with vegetables as well as with fruits, although some will require a few extra steps of cooking because of their higher moisture content. The sherry and balsamic vinegar cook down to help deeply caramelize the cherry tomatoes without the sugar used in a dessert pie.

Excerpted from THE BOOK ON PIE: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies © 2020 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2020 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin
  • Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin
  • 1/2 ½ recipe Rough Puff Pastry (see below)
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams or 1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or fresh oregano
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for finishing (optional)
  • Rough Puff Pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups (302 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces (226 grams, or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch (19 millimeter) cubes
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) ice water, plus more as needed
  1. Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C with a rack in the lower third (preferably with a baking steel or stone on it). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 13 inches / 33 cm wide. Dock the dough all over with a fork. Use the rolling pin to gently transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, unfurling it onto the pan. Chill while you work on the cherry tomatoes.
  4. In a 12-inch (30 centimeter) ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan, packing them as tightly as possible into the pan (they will shrink as they cook). Cook the tomatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until the juices they release have reduced fully.
  5. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then add the sherry and balsamic vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange the herb sprigs in between the tomatoes.
  6. Sse a fork or pair of tongs to push the tomatoes to pack them tightly together—this should be easier now that they’ve softened. Gently drape the pastry over the tomatoes, folding it in a little at the edges to encase them.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the pastry is very golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Carefully invert the tarte tatin onto a cutting board and lift off the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes more. If using, finish with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.
  1. Rough Puff Pastry
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the flour and salt together to combine. Add the cubes of butter, tossing them through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening them into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. The goal is to flatten each piece of butter only once, leaving the pieces very large (they will get smaller/more dispersed through the process of folding the dough).
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the ice water to the well and, using your hands, toss the flour with the water to start to mix the two together (this begins to combine them without creating too much gluten). As the flour begins to hydrate, you can switch to more of a kneading motion—but don’t overdo it, or the dough will be tough. Then add more water, about 1 tablespoon / 15 grams at a time, until the dough is properly hydrated. It should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it shouldn’t look totally smooth. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch / 1 cm thick (the exact size/shape of the dough doesn’t matter here, just the thickness). Brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush, then fold the dough in half. Fold the dough in half again into quarters. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 15 to 30 minutes, until firm.
  5. Repeat step 3 three more times: rolling out the dough, folding it, and chilling it each time before continuing. If you work quickly, you can sometimes do two rounds of folds back to back, but if the dough is soft or sticky, don’t rush it.
  6. Once the final fold is completed for each piece of dough, tuck the edges of the dough under to help form it into a rounded shape, then wrap again and chill at least 30 minutes before using. This dough is best baked at 400°F / 205°C. Parbake, blind-bake or fill and bake as directed in the recipe of your choice. Note that the pastry may take longer to parbake or blind-bake because of the lower baking temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

1 Review

Mel June 30, 2022
This is delicious but I wonder about puff pastry quantity. I made the rough puff recipe and used half of it here. Using a standard 12" Lodge cast iron skillet, the filling fit perfectly, and the dough barely stretched over. It tasted good but I did not attempt to invert. I'm very new to rough puff and noticing that there is a nyt peach skillet pie recipe that utilizes a similarly sized full recipe of rough puff in a 9" skillet. Huge difference! I wonder if this recipe is supposed to use the full rough puff recipe?