For the last few weeks, I have been making lots of Savory Oven Tomato Preserve (or is that Savory Oven-preserved Tomatoes?). After cooking for several hours in a very slow oven, the tomatoes acquire a very intense flavor that’s quite addictive. We’ve been eating them mostly on sandwiches and adding them to already cooked rice for a quick mock-risotto. I have also frozen some. The tomatoes are not truly preserved for long term storage so they keep only a couple of weeks in the fridge and must be used fairly quickly. As the San Marzano tomatoes (which are ideal for this dish) keep coming, I keep making the preserve. So, I needed other ways to use them.
Tomato Tatin (Upside Down Tomato Tart) works very well. I know, I know… that’s another recipe name with which I am taking liberties, but it perfectly conveys what the dish is in one remarkably economical word: upside down tart of slow precooked fruit with a golden crust. After all, technically, i.e. botanically speaking, tomato is a fruit (actually, a berry, if we want to be 100% accurate), even though in 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court declared it a vegetable! Less you start to wonder if the Supreme Court was reordering the Linnaeus classification, rest easy: it was done all to avoid paying tariff taxes under the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, and for no other purposes. The Justices came to that rationale because the tomatoes is generally served with dinner and not eaten as dessert. Want to read more about that? Wikipedia has an entry on it in the Nix v. Hedden case!
As far as the “Tatin”, it is more correctly known as Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin (The Misses Tatin’s Apple Tart) – but often shortened as Tarte Tatin. This upside-down apple tart, with its caramelized apples and golden pastry, was named after the Tatin sisters who ran a restaurant in the early 1900’s in Sologne (in the Orleans/ Loire River region), an area of France known – even today – for its good hunting grounds especially for ducks and other fowls and its dreamy landscapes of low forests, marshes and abundant waters.
So Tomato Tatin it is!
By using the Savory Oven Preserve Tomatoes, there’ll won’t be quantities of tomato juice released during the cooking and the pastry will not become soggy.
First, line up your preserved tomatoes in a pretty pattern at the bottom of a pie dish, cut side up. Pack them, laying them quite close to one another.
Then generously sprinkle freshly grated parmesan or similar cheese on the tomatoes – at least 2 heaping tablespoons.
Next, lay and shape puff pastry on top of the tomatoes. Either homemade or store-bought is fine.
Tuck the edges in so that when you unmold the tart, the tomatoes are contained in neatly – otherwise the puffed edges will make your tart bottom wobbly and uneven. And who wants that?
Bake in a preheated 400F (205 C) oven for about 25/30 minutes or until puffed and pleasantly golden.
Let cool until you can handle it comfortably. Invert it on a plate. Careful! don’t burn yourself and don’t spill the juices.
Admire. Yes, you may eat it. It won’t last.