Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Yep. Tomato tarte tatin. Most likely, if someone said 'dessert' to you, a tomato tarte tatin would not be the first thing to come to mind. That's OK, because I'm gonna work to make it something you not only think about, but enjoy!

So, I've got a ton of tomatoes coming in right now and am looking for interesting ways to use them. Why not dessert? I'm not a huge fan of heavy, sweet desserts and since the tomato is considered a fruit, I figured, why not?

I start with a good group of Akers West Virginia tomatoes that I have peeled the skin off of and cut in half. I love the Akers tomato and this growing season has been especially good for Akers(read: I've got a boat load of them.). The next step is to add sugar, vanilla bean and butter to the bottom of a copper pan. Neatly arrange the tomatoes cut side up in the pan and cook over moderate heat until a syrupy caramel forms.(Note: the more moisture in your tomatoes, the longer this step will take. If you use those nasty tomatoes from the grocery story, the cook time will be almost immediate. Actually, if you plan on using tomatoes from the grocery store, please stop reading now. I don't want you to make this dish.) Once you've reached caramel stage, sprinkle about 6 leaves of lemon verbena over the tomatoes and place a circle of puff pastry over the tomatoes. Prick with a paring knife and cook at 425 for about 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes has gone by, remove the tarte from the oven and shake it to make sure it is loose from the sides. Then......flip it over on to a plate.

The other components of this dish are sour cream ice cream, basil granola(it's awesome, trust me), some flowering basil from the garden and caramel. Done.

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