Monday, August 16, 2010

Tomato Tarte Tartin

A week ago, Stephanie McClenny, a/k/a the Cosmic Cowgirl, brought a tomato tarte tartin to a book club potluck at my house. It totally blew my mind; everything I had grown to believe about how tomatoes tasted flew right out the window after my first bite. I've always thought it strange that tomatoes are technically a fruit, but after being caramelized in butter and sugar, they actually taste the way I expect fruit to taste. They're a bit reminiscent of plums, only the flavor is cleaner and less, well, plummy.

Thankfully, Stephanie was willing to share the recipe, which originally appeared in bon app├ętit. After reading it, I was intimidated and not at all confident in my ability to pull it off; after all, Stephanie is a cooking/baking/canning/preserving rock star, and by comparison, I'm pretty much a garage band. But I could not stop thinking about how delicious it was, so I decided to risk it for a brunch I was attending this weekend at the home of our friends/neighbors, Diana and Don. Although I don't think mine turned out quite as well as Stephanie's (I think I cooked the tomato brew a smidge too long, and the caramel was pretty sticky), I thought it was still damn tasty.

Getting the tomatoes going

Right before I pulled them off the heat. I'd probably pull them a little earlier next time.

I neglected to take photos of the process of placing the crust, but it was a lot easier than it sounds. I was not very precise about placing it and it folded over on itself a bit, but it shrank up while baking, so was not at all difficult to get out of the pan. Also, I panicked a little when I first took it out, because it appeared that the pastry was way too puffed up, but it settled down nicely after it was flipped.

The finished product, up close and personal.



Best sliced with a pizza cutter. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream (trust me on this one).


  1. I would not think to pair this with whipped cream, but I will trust your expert opinion. What book did you read for book club?

  2. That's what I thought, too...tomatoes with whipped cream? But yes; the tomatoes take on such a different flavor than I expected that the whipped cream is delightful with it!

    We read Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain. Have you read it? It's a bit cynical, but contains some dynamite food porn.

  3. Hmm. I'm sharing this with my best friend in Boston. She has an obsession with tomatoes.

  4. mmm can't stop drooling...tomatoes rock!

  5. This was delicious and yours looks as beautiful as Stephanie's did at book club!

  6. That sounds so amazing. My dad has the best home grown tomatoes in his garden and I bet they would be incredible in this recipe!

  7. I'm loving all these cooking posts! I saw this recipe in BA but couldn't wrap my head around it. Now that I have a visual, it looks as scrumptious as I'm sure it tasted!

  8. I made this the same day I saw it in Bon Appetit. Bored everyone at work about how fabulous it was. This is a keeper.

  9. so what is your book club reading?

  10. Cynthia - we last read Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain. Our next book is The Belly of Paris, about Les Halles. It's a food-themed book club!

  11. I am extremely EXTREMELY interested in this delightful dish!!!

  12. Still... looks amazing, and so perfect for summer. I wonder if whipped creme fraiche would work as well as whipped cream?

  13. oh my, that looks fabulous!

  14. My tarte tartin is in the oven RIGHT NOW, and I can't wait to try it! My husband brought home tomatoes from a friend's garden the day after my sister-in-law introduced me to your blog. Now that's fate. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Shawna, you made my mouth water, just thinking about this again! Thanks for your comment...I hope you enjoy the tarte tartin as much as we did. Let me know how it goes! :)


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