I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this is yet another recipe inspired from watching My Kitchen Rules, but doesn’t it look so delicious?
‘Tarte Tatin’ sounds so technical and fiddly but it isn’t. The basic idea is to roast any vegetables that appeal to you and then simmer them in a sugar/vinegar syrup and place them in the base of a pie tin (any size that you like). I made the pastry by hand as I have no food processor here and it a very good pastry. Flaky and light and it could be used in many different recipes. The pastry just needs to rolled out and cut to fit the pie dish then it all goes into the oven until the pastry is golden and crisp. The highlight of this dish was the pastry – it is worth giving it a go.
The vegetables I roasted were beetroot, eggplant, red onion, capsicum and cherry tomatoes. Once the tart rested for five minutes I inverted it onto a big plate and topped with a handful of rocket and crumbled feta. Full of flavour.
You could make individual tart tatins for a more formal occasion or do what I did and make a couple of big ones, slice them up and serve them with a few salads for everyone to help themselves to.
roast vegetable tarte tatin
(adapted from a recipe by Kerrie and Craig from My Kitchen Rules)
a few fresh thyme leaves
a good handful of rocket leaves
300g plain flour
120g sour cream
1 red onion, peeled and quarted
2 Lebanese eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
2 small beetroots, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 small red capsicum, cut into 2cm pieces
12 cherry tomatoes
30ml olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
125ml (1/2 cup) verjuice
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
125ml (1/4 cup) water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbs Vino Cotto
(I understand that verjuice and vino cotto aren’t so readily available. A simple syrup made with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar and possibly a splash of white wine reduced down a little would work.)
Put the flour and butter for the pastry in a food processor and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs or just rub the butter into the flour by hand. Add the sour cream and process or mix by hand until mixture just comes together – be careful to not overmix or the pastry will be tough. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap then leave to rest in fridge for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (355 degrees F).
Toss all the prepared vegetables with the oil and season. Arrange on a baking dish (preferably one that can be put onto a stove top) and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
For the syrup, cook the verjuice, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until reduced to about 1/3 of a cup. Remove from heat and stir in Vino Cotto.
Once vegetables are cooked, place the baking dish over a medium heat on the stove top. (If you don’t have a baking dish that can go onto direct heat then just transfer the vegetables to a wide fry pan). Pour over the syrup and toss it all together gently, you don’t want to mush the vegetables, until the syrup has almost evaporated. It is ideal to have this mixture cooled to room temperature so the pastry can be really crisp and flaky but I made my tarts whilst the veggies were still quite hot and the result was still delicious.
Lightly grease your chosen pie tins with a little olive oil and divide the roast vegetables amongst the tins. Drizzle over any remaining syrup in the pan on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Cut out the pastry to just fit inside the pie tins and place the pastry over the veggies and gently tuck into the sides. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crispy. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes before inverting onto a big plate.
Top with a handful of rocket leaves with a little extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil then crumble over some feta.