Beetroot with a sweet-sour glaze on a deliciously crumbly walnut flavoured pastry. This Beetroot Tarte Tatin with Walnuts and Rosemary would make an excellent starter for a dinner party or a light lunch or dinner.
The classic tarte Tatin is made from apples that are caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Originating in France the tarte Tatin, got its name from the hotel serving it as its signature dish and there are are various stories of how the dish came to be, although no one seems to know for certain whether it was a deliberate creation or came about by accident.
Over time this famous dish has spread around the world and been adapted many times. As a dessert in addition to apples, it can also be made with other fruits such as pears but it can also be made as a savoury tart using vegetable such as tomatoes (OK, technically a fruit) beetroot, parsnips and onions.
Beetroot tarte tatin with rosemary
My favourite savoury Tarte Tatin is beetroot, the earthy slightly sweet flavour of the beets is complimented perfectly with the caramelisation of the sugar and a splash of vinegar gives just enough sourness to the dish to balance out the sweetness.
It makes a perfect dinner party dish and is delicious served hot or cold. I have added chopped rosemary to mine as I love the flavour combination. You can make it more substantial with the addition of some goats cheese.
When in season fresh beetroot also tends to be very cheap, so it makes an impressive but inexpensive dish.
Often made with puff pastry Tarte Tatins can also be made with shortcrust pastry. To further compliment the flavour of the beetroot I have added chopped walnuts to my rich shortcrust which produces a wonderfully light and crumbly pastry with lots of flavour.
Lightly toasting the walnuts changes and enhances the flavour of the nuts. Do this by popping in a medium-hot oven for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool before grinding in a grinder or food processor. Aim to get the nuts as finely ground as possible, although a few larger pieces in the mix will not harm.
Add to the pastry after rubbing in the flour. The addition of an egg yolk adds further richness to the pastry which then just needs a little water, about 1 tbsp to bring it all together.
The filling for the tart is made by gently cooking the beetroot until tender with some sugar and vinegar to produce a lovely caramelised glaze. Make the pastry first and allow to rest in the refrigerator while you cook the beetroots.
Choose small beetroots about a maximum of 6-7 cm (3in) across. You need enough to fill the base of your pan. Peel and cut in half. Cook cut side down in a frying pan for the first 10 minutes, then turn over and finish cooking covered with foil in the oven for about 20 minutes until just tender.
If you do not have a frying pan with an ovenproof handle, you can start the beetroot off in the pan then arrange them cut side up in the base of a cake tin, but make sure you use a solid cake tin and not one with a loose base or all the lovely sugary syrup that the beetroots cook in will leak out.
Once the beetroot is cooked your pastry will have relaxed and can be rolled out. Roll out a little larger than the base of the pan. Lift it over the beetroot and gently tuck the edges down between the beetroot and the edge of the pan. Take care as the pan will be hot, I use a little pallette knife or dinner knife to gently ease it into place.
Pop into the oven and bake until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully up turning so the pastry is on the base onto a serving plate. Again, take great care at this stage not to spill any juices onto you as they will be very hot.
Your Beetroot Tart Tatin is now ready to serve. If you like you can add some goats cheese and garnish with some fresh rocket leaves or serve it just as it is.
Step by Step Beetroot Tarte Tatin
Beetroot, Walnut and Rosemary Tarte Tatin
- 200 g (7oz) plain flour
- 100 g (3½oz) butter cut into cubes
- 15 g (½oz) walnuts toasted and ground
- 1 egg yolk
- 1–2 tbsp cold water
- 50 g (2oz) butter
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 750 g (1lb 10oz) small beetroot peeled and hlaved
- 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- frying pan with metal handle that can go in the oven or a 20cm (8in) shallow cake tin (not loose bottomed)
To make the pastry
- Place 200g (7oz) flour and 100g (3½oz) butter in a mixing bowl and rub in 100g(3½oz) of butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in 15g (½oz) ground toasted walnuts then make a well in the centre and add 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water. Mix to form a soft dough. Then wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
To make the filling
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Melt 50g (2oz) butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a 20cm (8in) frying pan. Add 750g (1lb 10oz) repared beetroot cut side down. Sprinkle with 3tbsp muscovado sugar, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook over a low heat 10 minutes. Turn the beetroot so the cut side is uppermost. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the beetroot is tender.
- Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round slightly larger than the frying pan.
- Place the pastry over the beetroot and carefully tucking the edges down the inside of the pan
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- Allow to stand for 5 minutes then invert a warm serving plate over the pan and quickly flip over to turn out the tart. Serve immediately.