food with sam mannering
Puff pastry in your freezer means you can swiftly pull together a delicious tarte tatin using whatever fresh ingredients you have at hand.
Ilove me a good tart. I think I’ve used that joke before. Apologies. Tarte tatin in any form is always a splendid thing to have up your sleeve because most of us will have puff pastry in the freezer more often than not, and you can build it with whatever you have from there – be it sweet – with apple, fresh nectarine, peach, pear or plum; or savoury, with caramelised onion, or, as below, tomatoes. We’re entering one of my favourite times of the year now that tomatoes are in season. My friends Anthony and Angela Tringham, otherwise known as the Curious Croppers, have the most glorious heirloom tomatoes – gutsy, gorgeously imperfect beauties that taste the way a tomato should. Look them up, they are well worth the effort. As always, make sure that the pastry is decent. It’s got to be made from butter and no other substitute (you will be surprised how much stuff is on the market that isn’t). I always use Paneton pastry, it is superb. A note on flipping. Let Julia Child (and her elongated vocal chords) reassure you: “When you flip anything, you just need to have the courage of your convictions…and if it falls to pieces, just put it back together…who’s to see…!’ Bravo, Julia, you savvy tart.
TOMATO TARTE TATIN
Cooking time: 35 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes Serves: 4-6
approximately 350g puff pastry olive oil butter salt and pepper 6 cloves of garlic, quartered lengthways a few sprigs of rosemary 600g mix of small tomatoes handful of fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 200C on fan bake. Place a large, oven-proof frying pan (I use a 28cm one) over the puff pastry and cut out a round that will fit neatly over the top of the pan. Set the pastry aside in the fridge. Pop the pan over a moderate heat with a little olive oil and a teaspoon of butter. Add the garlic and fry gently for several minutes until soft and translucent. Pull the rosemary off the stems, add to the pan and continue to fry quickly until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, a little more olive oil if necessary, and fry gently for several minutes, moving them around the pan. Bring the heat down and continue to cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are nicely caramelised on all sides, but not too soft that they are breaking apart. Season well with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Place the puff pastry over the top and tuck the edges in well. Prick the top with a fork and pop into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a couple of minutes before running a knife around the edge and carefully flipping onto a board or large plate. Scatter the fresh basil over the top and serve in generous wedges.