Tomato Tatin is an incredible appetizer! It is a recipe that is a little complicated, but if you think it through, it is easy enough to manage. The trick is to buy really red and round tomatoes, preferably the same size and ones that nicely fit into a small ramekin.

Tomato Tatin

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Baked, Delicious, Elegant, Flavor, Special Dinner, Tasty
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Degree of Difficulty : Moderately difficult
Servings: 4 people
Tip : Use only ripe tomatoes, the vine ripened variety is good as they tend to be of uniform size and color.

Ingredients 

Gastrique

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sherry or apple cider vinegar

Vegetables

  • 4 medium ripe red tomato
  • 1 large Spanish onion sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Topping

  • 1 package prepared pie crust
  • 1 egg whisked to combine
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients before starting recipe

Gastrique

  • Heat honey in a small sauce pan over medium high heat until the honey starts to turn color,
  • Add vinegar, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until reduced by 3/4
  • Remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble

Onion Preparation

  • Peel and slice one Spanish onion
  • Heat oil or butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat, then add sliced onions and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Sprinkle the onions with sugar, salt and black pepper, and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the onions are a golden brown color.

Tomato Preparation

  • Bring a medium stock pot filled with water to a boil and gently lower whole tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and allow to cool until you can handle
  • Make a small shallow cut on the tomato and using the knife edge, pull the skin off the tomatoes, this should be easy to do
  • Cut off the top 1/4 off each tomato, and using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and juice and the main connecting membrane from each tomato

Tatin Assembly

  • Pre heat oven to 375°
  • Fill each tomato half with the reserved onion mixture.
  • Cut rounds of pie pastry to be about size of the ramekin (place the ramekin up side down on the dough, and using small paring knife, cut out a circle for the top of the ramekin.
  • Pour a tablespoon or so of gastrique in the bottom of each ramekin
  • Place the stuffed tomato, cut side up, in the ramekin then top the tomato with the pastry. Cut a vent in the top of each pastry cover and brush with the egg wash.
  • Place the ramekins on a foil lined cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in a pre heated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has a nice golden color.

Serving

  • When done, allow the ramekins to cool slightly, then cut around each pastry round to loosen the tomato and the pie crust.
  • Place your serving plate on the top of the ramekin and invert, dropping the tomato on top of the pastry, the gastrique will also be poured onto the plate,

Author Notes

Before you turn out the tatin, you must cut around the pastry after baking to loosen the filled tomato, this will allow the tomato to drop out of the ramekin onto the inverted plate. Note that the gastrique will also pour from the ramekin, so take care when you plate.
The total cook time is about an hour and a half. I have made the assumption that several operations are happening simultaneously in order for this to complete in the total time in the recipe. It takes a bit of practice, and the longer that you cook, the more you realize that you can multi task and can therefore cut the time in half, or more.
To make this happen, I always start with the step(s) that take the most amount of time. In this case, the reduction of the gastrique and the caramelization of the onions. These two steps can be performed simultaneously and you can keep an eye on the two dishes on your stove easily enough,So while the gastrique and the onions are cooking, bring some water to a boil and drop in your tomatoes. They only take 30 seconds in total. Once you remove the tomatoes, and allow them to cool, your gastrique and onions should be done, so you can pull them aside and allow them to cool. While you are waiting for everything to cool,  peel and core the tomatoes, then cut out rounds of pastry dough. Everything should come together at this point and the tomatoes should be ready for filling. Just top with the pastry dough circles. This is the first 30-35 minutes. At this stage, you can complete the Tomato Tatin by baking, or set the dish aside to bake just before serving. This is the second 30 minutes. Hence, the 50 minute total cooking time.
I like to use Pillsbury Pie Dough, which is readily available in the US, but for some reason, only available at Walmart in Canada.

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