It a wonderful sunny day here, there is some heat in the sun and it reminds me that summer is on its way.
We have had so much rain and a touch of ground frost in the mornings, these last few weeks, its hard to believe that we are already into to May, but we are, so the sunshine is very welcome today.
There is more rain on the forecast at the end of the week, but we wont focus on that for the moment, we will just enjoy what we have today.
This sunshine has made me think of what can I make for lunch that will reflect the sunshine and remind me that summer is coming…….
What about luscious, juicy ripe tomatoes……. that definitely reminds me of summer, with a hint of basil, oh yes, I can taste it already……
This is a great recipe to have up your sleeve, vegetarians and meat eaters alike will love it.
You can use shop bought puff pastry or make your own, it just depends on how prepared you are, do you have time to make the rough puff pastry, were you clever the last time you made some and made double and put some in the freezer for another day! either way it will be delicious.
First you need to get the puff pastry ready, either bought or ready made, have it in the fridge so it is really nice and cold, it always puffs up better if it is cold.
Then its the tomatoes, so this works with the size of your tin, if you want to make a large tart, then use medium/large tomatoes and cut them across the middle, try to make sure you have equal halves of your tomatoes.
To work out how many tomatoes you need, take your tin and place the tomatoes into your tin, to fill half of your tin, (no more) as you will be cutting them in half across the middle. If you have a small tin, then use cherry tomatoes, but keep the whole, it is all about the look and taste (if you use cherry tomatoes and you half them, they will cook down too much in the oven before the puff pastry is cooked.
In a large frying pan, on a medium/high heat, cook the onion rings with a little butter, you want them to cook down, but you don’t want any colour, they should be soft, about 5 minutes. Once they are ready, remove them to the tart tin.
Then add more butter and cook the tomatoes in the sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, place them in the tart tin on top of the onions, (cut side UP) this is all about the look of the finished tart, remember you will be turning the tart upside down, so the onions and the tomatoes will be on top.
Layer all the tomatoes in a single layer, making sure you have a nice tight layer, before your place the puff pastry on top.
Now roll out the puff pastry, to approx 2 cm, wider than the tart tin, and place the puff pastry on top of the tomatoes and using a fork/spoon, work the pastry down the sides of the tart ensuring that the pastry touches the bottom of the tin, this will be the crust of your tart when you turn it out of the tin.
Brush the pastry with a little egg wash and place in the oven, and wait until the pastry is cooked, 25-30 minutes.
Once the tart is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cook for approx 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a plate, this is the tricky bit, make sure you have a plate that is big enough to place over the top of your tart tin, place a tea towel over the plate and grab the tin underneath, and then flip it over, making sure you are quick so any juice that is in the bottom of the tin, doesn’t run out when you are turning it over.
Replace any onions that are left in the tin back on top of your tart, and then tear the mozzarella over the warm tart (the heat will melt it) and then the basil leaves, and enjoy the smells and fragrances of summer.
Tomato Tarte Tatin
Makes one 12-inch tart or two 6-inch tarts
Tarte Tatin, the traditional French apple tart that is cooked upside down, is also popular — and beautiful — prepared with anything savoury, like aromatic summer tomatoes.