Caramelized tomato + chevre filling. Do I need to say any more to get you interested in making this week's great featured recipe? Have you ever caramelized tomatoes? I must admit, I haven't. But I sure love the idea! Still not sold yet? (Tough cookie, you are!) Let me add two more phrases: "homemade savory, buttery, flaky crust" and "creamy goat cheese". Are you in? I sure am! So much so that I decided to make this recipe my featured Recipe of the Week. It's called Tomato Chevre Tarte Tatin and it's from a beautiful blog called AdventuresInCooking.com.
So, now that I've sucked you in, let me tell you a little more about how to make this recipe a reality in your own kitchen. Just so you know, a "tarte Tatin" is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Apples are traditionally used in this recipe. I love how Eva (AdventuresInCooking.com's blogger) creatively turns this into a somewhat-sweet, somewhat-savory tarte. Tatin was the name of the hotel in France that originally (and accidentally) created this dish.
Now, I will tell you up front, this is not one of those super-quick recipes. Expect to invest somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours start to finish. But about 45 minutes of that time is baking and cooling. So prep and work time is about and hour and fifteen minutes or so. Time well-invested. You'll get a great dish and you may learn a few new techniques.
Here's how this lovely tarte comes together. Start with the crust. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and black pepper in a bowl. Next you add frozen butter (Note: freezing helps it grate nicely) by grating it into the flour mixture a little at a time - and stopping to mix it in as you go to make sure the grated butter shards don't stick to each other. When the butter is all in, you stir in ice water. Then you knead the dough by hand. (Add a little more water if the dough is too crumbly or flour if it's too sticky.) Finally you roll out the dough on a cutting board until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Then cover and refrigerate it while you make the filling.
The filling (yes, here comes the caramelized tomato part!) begins by melting butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. (Note: make sure you're using a big enough pan to handle a pound of tomatoes - which happens in the same skillet in a later step.) When melted, you add the inions, garlic, and a bit of sugar and stir. This mixture cooks for about 20-30 minutes (stirring every 5 minutes or so). You'll know it's done when the onions get soft and turn lightly gold around the edges. Remove the onion mixture to a bowl and return the pan back to the stovetop to begin caramelizing those tomatoes. (This is a good time to preheat your oven to 425°F. ) Once the pan's back on the burner, add some more sugar and water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and let the mixture boil. While it's boiling, gently swirl the pan. This mixes the water and sugar and begins to caramelize the sugar. Over the next five to ten minutes the sugar will caramelize and turn an amber color. When you reach this stage, reduce heat further (to medium-low) and add those lovely sweet cherry tomatoes. Cook them for about five minutes to soften them. Next you distribute the caramelized onion mixture evenly over the tomatoes and sprinkle all over with the chevre.
Adding the crust applies an interesting method. You remove the tomato, onion, and chevre mixture from the heat and lay the crust over the top of the skillet. Trim the excess crust and tuck the crust into the edges of the skillet. Poke some holes in the top of the crust and send it to the oven. It bakes for about 35 minutes until the crust is a light golden brown on top.
To remove the tarte from the pan, place a (heat-proof) plate over the pan and invert it. Lift the pan and the whole thing should be laying (tomato-side up) on the plate. It cools for about ten minutes on the plate. Then it's ready to slice and serve.
As you know I like to share a little about the wonderful blogs that produce these great recipes. And AdventuresInCooking.com is truly one. It's a beautiful blog (I dare you not to fall in love with the photography) with lots of creative recipes, info and tips on gardening, and some great travel guides. I love this blog - and I know you will too. Check it out at AdventuresInCooking.com!
RECIPES OF THE WEEK.
And be sure to visit the great blogs I mention. You'll be happy you did!