It’s tomato time. I can’t get enough of them. These days there are so many varieties at the market: green, yellow stripped, giant, tiny…A ripe, juicy tomato is a treat on its own. But, for a new twist on the tomato, how about a tomato dessert? ” This dessert is a revelation. As the tomatoes cook in the caramel, they become sweet and tender but retain their clean, fresh flavor. Prepare to be blown away,” states the recipe preface. I was. Not sure where I found this recipe, clipped from a magazine long ago no doubt. Serves eight.
1 3/4 pounds plum tomatoes (8 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed, corners cut off to make a very rough 9 to 10 inch round. (In France, I buy prepared puff pastry sold in rounds)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 425 F. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Cut a shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Add 4 tomatoes to boiling water. Blanch until skins at X begin to peel, 15 to 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer blanched tomatoes to bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. Peel tomatoes. Cut out cores, halve lengthwise and remove seeds.
Spread butter over bottom of 9 1/2 inch diameter, 2 to 3 inch deep ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron). Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over butter. Arrange tomato halves, rounded sound down and close together, in concentric circles in skillet to fill completely.
Place skillet over medium heat. Cook until sugar and butter are reduced to thickly bubbling, deep amber syrup, moving tomatoes occasionally to prevent burning, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Immediately drizzle vanilla over tomatoes. Top with pasty round. Using knife, tuck in edges of pastry. Place skillet in oven and bake tart until pastry is deep golden brown, about 24 minutes.
Cool tart in skillet 10 minutes. Cut around sides of skillet to loosen pastry. Place large platter over skillet. Using oven mitt as aid, hold skillet and platter firmly together and invert, allowing tart to settle onto platter –This can be tricky. Carefully lift off skillet. Rearrange any tomatoes that may have become dislodged.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.
Please comment on this or any of my recipes. I would love to know what you think — if you try it.