At its simplest, this Tarte Tatin uses onions, puff pastry and butter – but it is one of those recipes which can be adapted and other flavours easily introduced. I used ordinary yellow skinned onions and made one large tarte tatin which I then served sliced in wedges, but you could also make individual tartes using baby onions. I added a generous splash of Pedro Ximinez sherry and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the onions. I particularly liked the almost astringent taste of the rosemary contrasted against the sweetness of the onions and the richness of the buttery puff pastry. You can of course vary the herbs and rather than using sherry, brandy could be used in its place.
This dish contains no meat so it would be ideal to serve to non-meat eaters, but I also make it as a side-dish to accompany roast beef.
Every now and again, I will apply myself enthusiastically to the task of making homemade puff pastry, but as I have said before, there is nothing wrong about using store-bought puff. As always, I would recommend paying the little extra and getting an all-butter version as you will be rewarded with a far tastier finished product.
I like to serve the cooked tarte tatin still warm from the oven. Be careful when turning it out of the pan onto the serving plate as some hot buttery juices can easily escape. I promise you that for something so simple to make, there will be many “ooohs” and “aahs” when you serve this up.
Ingredients:250g all-butter puff pastry
5-6 small onions cut, peeled and cut in half through the centre
75mls Pedro Ximinez or Fino sherry
Some sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to season
Method:1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6. Melt the butter in a 23-25cm diameter frying pan, over a moderate heat on the hob. Make sure to use an oven frying pan. Add the onion halves, cut side up and fry over a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Turn the onions over after about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sherry, season well and cover with some tin-foil. Place into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft.
3. Roll out the puff pastry until it is about 3mm thick and cut out a circle about3cms wider all round than the frying pan. Prick all over with the prongs of a fork.
4. Take the frying-pan out of the oven and allow the onions to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove the foil lid. Sprinkle some small prigs of onion between the onions. Put the pastry on top of the onions, tucking the pastry in around the edges. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the pastry is well-risen and a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before up-turning onto a plate. Be careful – it will be hot.
6. Serve cut into wedges.