Valerie’s Tomato Tart Tatin

6th September 2017

Valerie is a lady who has a stall in the famous St Tropez market which is on Tuesday and Saturday mornings (9am-1pm).  She sells Provencal pizza, quiche and these incredible looking tomato tart tatins which particularly caught my eye.  She told me that this was her recipe and that she made them every morning!  They looked so enticing with a rustic herby mix that had been brushed over them.  Valerie used puff pastry which you can easily buy or it works equally well with short crust pastry but I have made a simple spelt because I prefer the taste.  Do check if you use shop bought as the cooking times may vary to my spelt pastry.  It is a good option if you want something a little more speedy!  However you do it just remember to find some nice quality tomatoes.

Serves 6


For the pastry

240g spelt flour

1 level tsp herbs de Provence

1 medium egg yolk

150g butter, cold and cut into cubes

Good pinch of sea salt

For the filling

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

8 medium tomatoes

200g baby plum tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 handfuls of pitted black olives

For the herb marinade:

3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

handful of fresh oregano leaves

Leaves from 6 sprigs of rosemary

Leaves from 15 sprigs of thyme

6-7 tbsp olive oil

good few pinches of sea salt and black pepper

Add all the ingredients for the pastry except the egg yolk into a blender and mix until crumbly.  This will take about 2 minutes and then add the egg yolk and the whole mix should come together into a ball.   Wrap this in cling film and leave in the fridge for about an hour.

While that is resting you can begin on the tomato filling.  Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.  Clean the blender and add all of the ingredients for the marinade and mix until you get a nice rough paste.  Next slice a 1cm top off the larger tomatoes (the side with the stem) and use a spoon to carefully scoop out the seeds and this will avoid too much water in the tart.   Roughly scrape out the seeds from the baby plum tomatoes and add all the tomatoes into a bowl pouring over the herb marinade, one handful of the olives and mixing everything together.  Set an oven proof frying pan to a high heat and add the olive oil and butter to melt together for a moment.  Now arrange the larger tomatoes cut-side up in the pan and fit the smaller ones in-between the gaps also cut-side up.  Scrape over all the leftover herb marinade and fry at a high heat for about 10 minutes to colour the bottom of the tomatoes.  Then place the frying pan into the middle of the preheated oven and roast for 35 minutes.  After the tomatoes should have reduced in size and started to go a little caramel coloured.  Now remove the pan carefully from the oven and turn the oven to 170 degrees.  Take the chilled pastry from the fridge and slice the pastry ball into 5 slices placing a piece of baking parchment a little bigger than the radius of the frying pan onto a work surface.   Place the pastry slices flat down together onto the baking paper creating a circle shape and place another sheet of baking paper on top.  Use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry a little so that it is a bit larger than the radius of the frying pan.  It can be quite thick at 1.5-2cm and carefully flip the pastry on top of the frying pan removing the baking paper.  Use a knife to cut away any excess pastry and tuck in the edges.  Place the tart back into the oven for another 30 minutes to bake the pastry top.  It should go slightly golden and firm up a bit when ready.  Prepare a large flat plate that is larger than the frying pan and place this on top over the pastry.  Use oven gloves to quickly but carefully flip over the pan to reveal the tomatoes on top.  Roughly chop the leftover black olives and sprinkle over the tart with salt, pepper and little extra virgin olive oil.  Now it is ready for serving!

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