Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin

I finally pulled all of the last of my carrots growing in the garden this weekend.  Knowing they were getting ready to harvest, I had been thinking of recipe inspiration all last week.  I knew I wanted to do something French inspired as carrots are ever present in French cooking.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Whenever I need some vegetable recipe inspiration, I always consult two of my favorite cookbooks, Plenty and Plenty More.  Both are vegetable only cookbooks with beautiful pictures and tons of unique recipes.  I saw a picture of a tarte tatin in Plenty that I thought was a carrot tarte tatin, but it was actually one with potatoes.  Regardless, the seed was planted and my carrot tarte tatin was born.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Normally tarte tatin is a sweet dessert made with apples or some sort of other fruit.  The tarte is baked with the fruit side down and then flipped to serve – the same concept as an upside down cake.  The fruit side gets caramelized and gooey while the crust gets puffed and flaky.

Carrots are really a perfect bridge to take a normally sweet dish into the savory world.  They already caramelize beautifully and when you add honey, spices, and puff pastry, there’s really not a lot that could go wrong.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight
  • 1 tbsp chopped carrot tops

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

To begin, first preheat your oven to 425.  Next, peel and slice your carrots and shallot.  The carrots slices will all nestle together at the bottom of the pan you cook in to form the caramelized base, so you want the slices to cook relatively evenly.  For the thinner parts of the carrots, I sliced them a bit larger and for the thicker parts of the carrots I sliced them a bit smaller.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Next, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large (10-12 inch) oven safe skillet.  You’re going to sauté the carrots, shallots, and spices directly in the pan you’ll be baking in.  If you don’t have a skillet that can go in the oven or is large enough to make the tarte, you can sauté in one pan and then transfer to an oven safe baking dish or pie pan before you transfer to the oven.

Sauté the carrots and shallots over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Make sure to season liberally with salt throughout the cooking process.  I used between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in total. 

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

While your carrots and shallots sauté, crush your coriander and cumin seeds so none remain whole but they still have some good texture.  I used a mortar and pestle for this, but if you don’t have one I suggest putting the spices in a ziploc bag, sealing it, and rolling over it with a rolling pin.  It works! 

After 10 minutes of sautéing, check your carrots for doneness.  They should be mostly soft with a little bit of bite to them still.  They will continue to cook in the oven.  At this point, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and 1 tbsp butter to the pan.  Stir to melt the butter and incorporate the spices.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Remove the pan from heat and spread the carrots into a single layer over the bottom.  You want to maximize the surface area of carrots touching the pan to form the caramelized topping of the carrot tarte tatin. 

To finish, give the whole pan a nice drizzle of honey.  The honey with the butter will hold the carrots together in a nice sauce while it bakes. 

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe 

Finally, remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and roll it out so that it fits completely over the top of the carrots.  Place puff pastry on top of the carrots, folding over any excess dough back on to the tarte.

Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter and brush it over the top of the puff pastry to get a nice golden crust.  Sprinkle with kosher salt for a savory burst of flavor.  To finish, put a few slits in the middle of the dough to release any steam while cooking.

Place immediately in a 425 oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.  Once cooled slightly, flip the carrot tarte tatin onto a serving plate so that carrot side is up.  If any of the carrots or onions stick in the pan, you can scrape those off and add them to the top of the tarte.

The carrots should be browned and coated from the butter and honey and the shallots extra caramelized.  To finish, sprinkle some chopped carrot tops or parsley over the top of the tarte and serve while still warm.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

I served this as a main dish with a simply dressed kale salad, though it could easily be served as a side as well.  It would go beautifully with some sort of roast pork dish.

When serving with the salad, I added a quick dipping sauce by mixing feta, greek yogurt, water, and honey.  The tanginess of the sauce paired really well with the earthy sweetness of the carrot tarte tatin.

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin - a savory spin on a class French recipe

Bon appétit!

Savory Carrot Tarte Tatin

A savory twist on a classic French dessert, this carrot tarte tatin is perfectly balanced with caramelized carrots, onions, and spices.  

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 large shallot sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp butter divided
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds crushed
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds crushed
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight
  • 1 tbsp chopped carrot tops

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425. 

  2. Next, peel and slice your carrots and shallot.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large (10-12 inch) oven safe skillet. 

  3. Sauté the carrots and shallots over medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure to season liberally with salt throughout the cooking process. I used between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in total.
  4. While carrots and shallots sauté, crush coriander and cumin seeds 

  5. After 10 minutes of sautéing, check your carrots for doneness. They should be mostly soft with a little bit of bite to them still. At this point, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and 1 tbsp butter to the pan. Stir to melt the butter and incorporate the spices.

  6. Remove the pan from heat and spread the carrots into a single layer over the bottom. Drizzle with honey

  7. Remove puff pastry from the refrigerator and roll it out so that it fits completely over the top of the carrots. Place puff pastry on top of the carrots, folding over any excess dough back on to the tarte.

  8. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter and brush it over the top of the puff pastry and sprinkle with kosher salt. To finish, put a few slits in the middle of the dough to release any steam while cooking.

  9. Place immediately in a 425 oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Once cooled slightly, flip onto a serving plate so that carrot side is up. If any of the carrots or onions stick in the pan, you can scrape those off and add them to the top of the tarte.

  11. The carrots should be browned and coated from the butter and honey and the shallots extra caramelized. To finish, sprinkle some chopped carrot tops or parsley over the top of the tarte and serve while still warm.

 



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