Shallot tarte tatin

Mark Sargeants glistening savoury version of a classic French dessert makes a delightful starter or vegetarian main course
By Mark Sargeant
Shallot tarte tatin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 12 medium banana shallots
  • 2 glugs olive oil
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar, plus 50g extra
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 splashes sherry vinegar, plus extra for salad
  • 250 g all-butter puff pastry
  • green salad leaves, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

If you dont have an ovenproof frying pan, dont worry: you can make the caramel in a regular frying pan, or a saucepan, then pour it into an ovenproof dish or little baking tins.

You can use small onions in place of shallots in this recipe but the flavour of shallots is much milder and sweeter than that of onions, so the result wont taste the same.


1. Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the unpeeled shallots in half lengthways and put them on a baking tray with a couple of glugs of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and some salt and pepper. Mix so that the shallots are covered in sugar and oil then arrange them cut-side down on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until the shallots have softened a little.

2. Remove the shallots from the oven, peel off their skins and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on ready to bake the tarts.

3. Cook the sugar in a large non-stick frying pan for a coupe of minutes until golden, then add the butter. Once you have a nice caramel, deglaze the pan with a dash of sherry vinegar and allow to reduce over a medium heat. Pour the syrup into two individual 12-13cm frying pans or blini pans and allow to cool.

4. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to 5mm thick. Cut two discs slightly bigger than the size of the frying pans. Lay the softened shallots cut-side down in an attractive pattern in the caramel. Season with salt and pepper, then cover each pan with a pastry disc, tucking the edges inside the pan and around the shallots. Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.

5. Carefully turn the tarts out while they are still hot onto serving plates so that the caramelised shallots face upwards (be sure not to burn yourself with the hot liquid). Serve with salad leaves dressed with olive oil anda little sherry vinegar.

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