There is always an element of surprise to a tarte tartin. You never know if it is going to work until you actually flip it out of the pan. Traditionally tarte tartin is made with apples or other fruits. However it also works really well as a savoury dish, like this Beetroot and Feta Tarte Tartin.
Until recently I was a beetroot avoider. Now I am happy to eat it in pretty much anything, including cake. I find beetroot quite filling, possibly due to high fibre content, and therefore a good choice for a substantial vegetarian main meal. Whilst I would love to grow my own, we have a running battle with snails at the moment. Every time we look there is one less seedling. Thankfully I am able to buy beautiful baby beetroot at the farmers’ market.
I did toy with the idea of using goat cheese, but thought twice in two weeks might be pushing the friendship. That, and I didn’t want you to get the impression that goat is the only cheese I will eat. So I dug the feta out of the back of the fridge and scattered that over the tarte tartin instead. Goat cheese and feta both pair well with beetroot, so use whichever you prefer. Persian feta would also work well here.
The two shortcuts that help this dish come together quickly are the caramelised onions and puff pastry. This is your chance to use the large jar of caramelised onions you made last week. Puff pastry is a staple in my freezer, perfect for quick savoury tarts or emergency desserts. Do make sure you only buy all butter puff though.
This dish can be on the table in under an hour if you manage to roast the beetroot in advance. The roasted beetroot will keep well in the fridge for a few days, so cooking them on the weekend or one evening whilst the oven is on means this tarte tatin can easily be pulled together midweek. Then all that is left to do is throw together a crisp side salad, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and cross your fingers. You like surprises, right?
Beetroot and Feta Tarte Tartin
I use a 20cm cast iron fry pan to make this tart, which will feed the three of us for dinner with a good side salad and maybe some crusty bread. You can make a larger tart if you wish, just scale the ingredients up accordingly. Don't make it too large though or it will be difficult to turn out of the fry pan.
To roast the beetroot
- 6 small/medium beetroot washed but not peeled, approx. 300g
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- A few sprigs of thyme
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil salt & pepper
- Splash of water
For the tarte tartin
- 6 small/medium roasted beetroot halved, approx. 300g
- 2 Tablespoons caramelised onions
- 2 teaspoons vincotto
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt & pepper
- 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry to fit your fry pan
- 80 g feta crumbled
To roast the beetroot
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Place the beetroot, garlic cloves and thyme in a baking dish.
- Add a splash of red wine vinegar to the tray and drizzle olive oil over the beetroot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Splash the water into the bottom of the baking tray.
- Cover the baking tray with alfoil, ensuring that it is well sealed, and place in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes.
- The beetroot are ready when a metal skewer slides easily through the centre.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Slide your fingers, applying slight pressure, over the beetroot to remove the skins. They should slip off easily.
- Allow the beetroot to cool before proceeding with the tart or refrigerate until required.
For the tarte tartin
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Place the fry pan top down onto the pastry sheet and cut a circle just ever so slightly larger than the top of the fry pan.
- Put the pastry circle aside whilst you assemble the filling.
- Place the beetroot cut side down in the bottom of the fry pan. Squeeze them in and juggle them around until they fit.
- Drizzle the vincotto over the beetroot.
- Season the beetroot with salt & pepper.
- Drape the caramelised onions over the beetroot.
- Place the pastry circle over the top of the fry pan and tuck the pastry into the sides of the beetroot, as if you were tucking in a bed sheet.
- Place the fry pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and well risen.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Place a plate over the top of the fry pan, and then flip the fry pan over.
- Hold your breath and remove the frypan. Hopefully all of the pieces of beetroot have fallen into place in the pastry. If not, just place any stray beetroot pieces back in the holes.
- Scatter over the crumbled feta and serve.
Beetroot become impossible to peel if they are allowed to cool completely. Peel them as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Trust me on this one.
If you can't find (or don't have) vincotto, stir 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and use that instead.
P.S. If you love beetroot, also check out my Roasted Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Walnut Salad.