Chef, Restauranteur & Musician Patrick Quillec

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Serves 4-6

Botanically, tomatoes are fruit. So is it really so crazy to use them in place of apples in a traditional tarte tatin? No, no it is not.

In fact, with beautiful in-season tomatoes, fresh vanilla bean, a touch of sugar, and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar (oh yeah, and a scoop of mascarpone ice cream), it’s a perfectly sweet end to a summertime meal.

8 large Roma/plum tomato
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3/4 cup sugar, granulated
1 vanilla bean
Aged Balsamic vinegar*
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half a package of 2 blocks), thawed
Mascarpone ice creamor Verbena whipped cream, for serving

*Ingredients are available at French Market

1. Preheat the oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom (not the stem end) of each tomato and blanch them for about a minute, plunging into cool water afterward and slipping off the skins. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

2. Set a heavy cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and vanilla bean halves to the pan and swirl it around as it melts and foams. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the bean.

3. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan and arrange the tomatoes rounded side down in concentric circles, fitting them tightly together and filling the pan.

4. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the juices are released from the tomatoes, then bubble and cook down and turn golden. (Lift the tomatoes up occasionally and let the caramel run underneath them to keep them from sticking and burning.) Meanwhile, roll the pastry out to about a 9? round.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, drizzle the tomatoes lightly with the aged balsamic vinegar and cover with the pastry, tucking in the edges.

6. Cut a few slits in the top and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden and bubbly around the edges. Cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Do it while the tart and pan are still quite warm or the tomatoes will stick.

7. Serve warm with mascarpone ice cream or Verbena whipped cream, slightly sweet.