I love a classic apple tarte tatin but this *beetroot version is a really delicious savoury alternative; you can also make an equally tasty version with thickly sliced tomatoes. A perfect light summer lunch or supper dish with a crisp green salad on the side, it’s pretty straightforward to make provided that you have a baking dish that can cope with the heat on the hob and in the oven. I bought a proper tatin dish years ago and it’s well worth it; you can find a good one in Bury St Edmunds at either Glasswells or Steamer Trading or online at John Lewis.
You will need…
- A bunch of uncooked beetroot. Try to pick a bunch with beets that are roughly equal in size as they will cook evenly and improve the finished look of the tarte. Bury market is the perfect place to buy fresh, seasonal produce.
- 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
- 1 dessertspoon of caster sugar
- Sea salt and pepper
- 25g butter
- 320g sheet of Jus-Rol ready rolled puff pastry, or shortcrust if you prefer
- A handful of fresh thyme leaves
- A dash of extra virgin olive oil
- Optional: 40g feta cheese
- Oven roast the beetroot at 200°C in a tightly sealed foil parcel for about 50 minutes. Allow to cool and then peel – the skin should slip off quite easily. I always wear rubber gloves for this part! Cut each beet horizontally into thin, even slices. Set aside on a plate. Keep the oven on for baking the tarte.
- Unroll the pastry and use the top of the tatin tin as a template to cut a circle of pastry. Return to the fridge.
- On the hob, melt the butter, sherry vinegar and sugar together on a medium heat in a tatin tin. It should mix together and thicken slightly to form a savoury caramel.
- Layer all the beetroot slices in the tatin tin, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook through for 20 minutes or so. The caramel should begin to mix with the juices of the beetroot – press the top down lightly with the back of a wooden spoon so it passes through the layers evenly.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and lay over the beetroot, tucking it in neatly around the sides.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes – the top should be crisp and golden.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Place a serving plate over the top of the dish and carefully invert it (use a tea cloth so as not to burn your hands) so that the pastry is on the bottom and the beetroot on the top. If any pieces stick to the bottom, carefully lift them and replace them on the top.
- Once cooled, sprinkle over the fresh thyme leaves and feta if you’re using it. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
*This recipe originally appeared in my monthly cookery column for WOW24/7 in The Bury Free Press.