After months of inspecting our beautiful tomato plants for signs of fruit, we finally have a harvest in the first week of Autumn. Globed beauties like Aunt Ruby’s Greens, Beams Yellow Pears, Green and Blacks and Green Zebras have emerged to decorate our heavy vines.
In celebration of the arrival of our long hoped for tommies, I have made a deliciously simple, vegan vine-ripened tomato tarte tatin. Perfect for brunch and looking far fancier than it is, this twist on the French classic might just be my new Sunday brunch go-to.
Our seasons have been all skewed this year. Spring was a passing blur with her blossoms only appearing for a week or so, Summer is very fashionably late with the heat and produce arriving only now which, in turn has left my beloved Autumn waiting in the wings. While I am so pleased and proud of our abundant tomato crop, I was already looking ahead to poached pears and figs. Vine-Ripened Tomato Tarte Tatin was not in my carefully planned blogging schedule. Kidding. I have a three-year old, a husband, a large puppy and a renovation; I have no plan, just an almost trilogy worthy to-do list.
Disorganisation aside, I am not alone in my seasonal discombobulation (that’s 25 Scrabble points) although many have put more educated thought in to it than I. They’re all about crops and harvest times; I’m all about when to buy cable knit sweaters.
However, in my mini-research I found that some folk have proposed scrapping the European four-season approach in Australia altogether and replacing it with a more robust 6 to 8 season approach based on plant cycles not tradition. Pagan rituals aside, if the seasons remain all cock-eyed, we may just have to re-think our status-quo. It will be pretty interesting; we can’t bear to step away from the Union Jack so a complete seasonal overhaul should be as popular as shingles. Us Australians can be a wonderfully, frustratingly traditional bunch.
Besides making my brain itch, all this seasonal skew reminds me that perhaps I need to go with the flow more. So it’s Summer outside when it should be Autumn. It’s all good. My tomatoes took their precious time to arrive? Better late than never, I say. It’s cool. It’s just a new groove, one that fits me like an ill-fitting wig. But that’s OK too. Seasons change and so can I. And, I have a wonderfully French, wonderfully simple vine-ripened tomato tarte tatin to celebrate. It’s vegan, it’s light and it’s a little something anyone can whip up for brunch tout suite.
A good recipe, I think, is one that celebrates its produce and ingredients rather than confusing them. This vegan Vine-Ripened Tomato Tarte Tatin recipe is a celebration of all things tomato. With a hint of caramelised sugar and flecks of sea salt, the humble tommy is in its glory here. Sitting prettily on a circle of buttery, puffy pastry and enhanced with fresh oregano and red wine vinegar, the tomatoes pop with juicy sweetness.
While I will always love sweet pear and apple tarte tatin, this rustic tomato version celebrates sweet and savoury combined. Tomatoes are a lovely alternative and means this French classic has a place outside of dessert. Dessert dishes for brunch. Summer in Autumn. Ill-fitting wigs. Where will all this wonderful unexpectedness end? Enjoy.
Recipe Note: For a gluten-free alternative, simply use gluten-free puff pastry. In Australia, Genius make a gluten-free puff pasty and Coles puff pastry is vegan.
Vine-Ripened Tomato Tarte Tatin
- 400 - 500 grams ripe heirloom or large cherry tomatoes enough to cover your oven proof pan
- 1 sheet puff pastry vegan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- a small handful of fresh oregano or basil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 sea salt
- cracked pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C
- Cut the pastry in to a circle to fit the pan. Cut a small slit in the centre to release steam.
- In a round oven proof fry pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Cook for two minutes or until the sugar is melted.
- Carefully, place the tomatoes down on to the pan covering the entire space. Season with a pinch of salt and sprinkle with the dried oregano leaves.
- Turn the heat to low-medium and cook the tomotoes, shaking the pan every so often, for around seven minutes.
- Place the cut pastry sheet over the tomatoes, tucking the edges carefully down.
- Put the pan in to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Carefully, place a plate over the pan and gently flip the two over to turn the tarte tatin out.
- Season with sea salt and pepper, sprinkle with the fresh herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Cut in to slices to serve.