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Leek Tarte Tatin

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Leek Tarte Tatin

If you already know what a Tarte Tatin is…skip straight to the recipe because you already know how divine it is!…However, if you are unfamiliar with the delicious French apple tart read on…

Traditionally a Tarte Tatin is made by caramelising apples in a pan and then covering them with either puff pastry or shortcrust pastry. It’s then baked in the oven and flipped upside down onto a plate.
Often the apples are replaced with pears or other fruit, but because I love eating vegetarian dishes, I chose to use leeks in this delicious savoury version,
If you love caramelised onions or sweet roasted onions, I promise you’ll love this too! The caramel soaks into pungent leeks and then with the buttery, flaky puff base, this tart is oh, so delectably delicious! As you can see I’ve added a sprinkling of feta…because, well why wouldn’t you?!

It’s easy to make with only 5 ingredients and is a lovely tart to enjoy at brunch, lunch or dinner, either alone or with some chicken, sausages, steak or chops (to appease the meat lovers at the table). 🙂

A little history – Tarte Tatin dates back to the 1880s. It’s said that one of the Tatin sisters from The Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, created it by accident and that the patrons enjoyed it so much that it became their signature dish.
It got its name due to a Chef who went there to eat, loved the dish so much that he became obsessed with finding out how it was made. None of the staff would tell him so he got a job at the hotel as a gardener until he found out and then went back and put it on his own menu, naming it after the sisters.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 short and fat or 5 long and slim leeks
1 cup / 150 g loosely packed, brown sugar
75 g butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
400 g block puff pastry (at room temperature)
¼ cup / 40 g feta (from a block or crumbled)

Optional – a few sprigs of parsley

 

Serves 6

 

Notes

  • Of course, you can use pastry sheets, you’ll just need to do some patchworking. If you do, just brush a little water in between your seams to ensure they meld together when baking.

 

STEP BY STEP

For this, you will need an ovenproof frying pan. The one I use is 19 cm / 7½” across the bottom and 28 cm11″ across the top (you can go smaller but may need another leek if you go larger).  

If your pastry isn’t at room temperature, retrieve it from the fridge now to let it soften a little. 

To begin, remove the outer layer of the leeks (if the next layer looks wrinkled and a little soft, remove that layer also).

Chop off most of the dark green ends down to where the leeks look firm and healthy.

Rinse them well under running water (especially between the upper leaves. Dry them off as best you can.

Leek Tarte Tatin

Chop off the root ends and staring there, chop them into 3 cm / 1 ¼” pieces. 

  • I take a few more of the thicker layers off those darker green pieces to find the tender layers inside. You can see in this pic they are not as thick as the rest because I’ve done this. 

Leek Tarte Tatin

Next, preheat the oven to 170°C / 325°F fan/convection oven or 190°C / 375°conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated just below the centre of the oven.

Warning – You are now going to be making caramel and caramel is REALLY, REALLY HOT so please be careful.

Next, cut the butter into cubes and place it and the brown sugar into the frying pan.

Leek Tarte Tatin

Over a medium heat melt the two together…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…whisking it often to help the two meld together.

  • Please watch out for splatters and if it does start to bubble too much or begin to spit or splutter, turn the heat down a little.

Leek Tarte Tatin

At this point, the caramel should be at a very, slow, soft boil. If it’s not, turn the heat down to medium/low, or low, until it is.

Stand the leek pieces up in the caramel and leave them to caramelise in it for 10 minutes. You can use a pair of tongs to gently move the leeks around a little bit whilst they are softening in the caramel but there’s no need to turn them over.

  • It’s best if the leek rounds totally fill up the pan (if they don’t and you have another leek, quickly prepare and add it).
  • If at any stage the caramel is starting to go a very dark brown/black or you can smell the sugar starting to burn, remove the pan from the heat.

After 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the leeks with the salt and pepper.

Just leave the leeks in the pan whilst you roll out the pastry…

Leek Tarte Tatin

Place the pastry on a lightly floured board and…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…roll it out until it’s 3 mm / 1/8″ in thickness all around (aiming for a square shape with rounded corners).

Leek Tarte Tatin

Carefully lay the pastry over the leeks and the top of the frying pan and…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…start rolling the pastry inwards, tucking it in neatly as you go and then work your way around the edge.

Leek Tarte Tatin

I have no idea why, but aside from eating the Tarte…this is my favourite part. I just find it really satisfying!

Leek Tarte Tatin

Prick the pastry all over with a fork…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…and then place it in the oven to cook for 40 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden brown colour all over.

Leek Tarte Tatin

Now, turn your grill/broiler onto a medium heat.

Tarte Tatin is served upside down…I mean the right side up…I mean…I don’t know…it needs to be flipped! It’s also served whilst still hot or warm.

Another warning – A piping hot panhandle and just as hot caramel inside the pan!…I’m feeling nervous writing about it!

So, to turn it out, run a knife between the pastry and the frying pan to loosen it.

Then, lay your serving plate upside down over the frying pan and…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…carefully flip both the pan and the plate over.

Leek Tarte Tatin

Remove the pan and…just look at it! It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?!

Leek Tarte Tatin

And to make it taste and look even more magical, sprinkle the feta over the Tarte and…

Leek Tarte Tatin

…popping it under the grill/broiler for 5-10 minutes (depending on how hot your grill is) or until the feta has slightly browned.

Leek Tarte Tatin

  • It’s up to how much you want to brown it. I didn’t take this one too far as I didn’t want to freak anyone out with it looking a tad burnt! I usually prefer to take it to the brink of ‘burnt-town’ as the pastry around the edge and the tops of the leeks caramelise even further and it tastes even better!

Leek Tarte Tatin

If you like, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley just before serving.

  • Tarte Tatin should be eaten as soon as possible as it goes soggy when reheated.

Leek Tarte Tatin

Serve with a salad. 🙂

Leek Tarte Tatin

 

Related Posts…

  • Caramelised Onions
    Caramelised Onions

 

Leek Tarte Tatin

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Leek Tarte Tatin

A classic puff pastry French Tarte Tatin with a twist! Instead of using apples in this, classic dessert, here's a delicious savoury version to enjoy at dinner or lunch using beautiful leeks!

Ingredients

  • 4 short & fat or 5 long & slim leeks
  • 1 cup / 150 g loosely packed, brown sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 400 g block puff pastry (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup / 40 g feta (from a block or crumbled)

Instructions

  1. You will need an ovenproof frying pan. The one I use is 19 cm / 7½" across the bottom and 28 cm / 11" across the top (you can go smaller, but may need another leek if you go larger).
  2. If your pastry isn't at room temperature, retrieve it from the fridge now to let it soften a little.
  3. Remove the outer layer of the leeks (if the next layer looks wrinkled and a little soft, remove that layer also). Chop off most of the dark green ends down to where the leeks look firm and healthy.
  4. Rinse them well under running water (especially between the upper leaves). Dry them off as best you can.
  5. Chop off the root ends and starting there, chop them into 3 cm / 1 ¼" pieces. (Take a few more of the thicker layers off those darker green pieces to find the tender layers inside).
  6. Preheat the oven to 170°C / 325°F fan/convection oven or 190°C / 375°F conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated just below the centre of the oven.
  7. Warning - You are now going to be making caramel and caramel is REALLY, REALLY HOT so please be careful.
  8. Cut the butter into cubes and place it and the brown sugar into the frying pan.
  9. Over a medium heat melt the two together, whisking it often to help the two meld together (please watch out for splatters and if it does start to bubble too much or begin to spit or splutter, please turn the heat down a little).
  10. The caramel should be at a very, slow, soft boil. If it's not, turn the heat down to medium/low, or low, until it is.
  11. Stand the leek pieces up in the caramel and leave them to caramelise in it for 10 minutes (you can use a pair of tongs to gently move the leeks around a but there's no need to turn them over). *If at any stage the caramel is starting to go a very dark brown/black or you can smell the sugar starting to burn, remove the pan from the heat.
  12. After 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the leeks with the salt and pepper. Leave the leeks in the pan whilst you roll out the pastry.
  13. Place the pastry on a lightly floured board and roll it out until it's 3 mm / 1/8" in thickness all around (aiming for a square shape with rounded corners).
  14. Carefully lay the pastry over the leeks and the top of the frying pan and start rolling the pastry inwards, tucking it in neatly as you go and then work your way around the edge.
  15. Prick the pastry all over with a fork then place it in the oven to cook for 40 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden brown colour all over.
  16. Turn your grill/broiler onto a medium heat.
  17. Tarte Tatin is served upside down so it needs to be flipped out. So, run a knife around between the pastry and the frying pan to loosen it.
  18. Another warning - Again please be careful with the piping hot pan handle and the just as hot caramel inside the pan.
  19. Lay a serving plate upside down over the frying pan. Carefully flip both the pan and the plate over and then remove the pan.
  20. Scatter the crumbled feta over the Tarte and place it under the grill/broiler for 5-10 minutes or until the feta has browned slightly.
  21. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley all over.
  22. Serve as soon as possible (Tarte Tatin goes soggy when reheated).

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