A show-stopping tomato Tarte Tartin

 Try this epic confit tomato Tarte Tatin recipe for your next show-stopping meat-free Monday dish.

  • PREP TIME: 15 mins
  • COOK TIME: over 2 hrs to confit the tomatoes, then 20 mins to bake the tarte
  • SERVES: 2–3
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • GOOD FOR: Meat-free Monday, family, starter, bit of a show-stopped

‘Tomato… tomato’ Let’s call the whole thing off’.

It’s true that tomatoes are generally a bit rubbish through most of the year in the UK.

Sadly they can be a bit tasteless and watery.

However, there is a way to improve the flavour and that’s to roast them for a long time at low temperature.

And in plenty of oil.

You simple halve your tommy’s and leave them to sit happily in a puddle of oil for a couple of hours.

Or a nicer way of saying it is to confit your tomatoes.

What is confit?

It’s a French word, meaning ‘to preserve’.

You can confit a lot of ingredients such as vegetables and fruit.

But it’s mainly done with meat, particularly poultry e.g. duck confit.

And traditionally, you salt cure and slowly cook an ingredient in fat.

The basic elements of making a traditional confit

1. Salt cure

A salt cure is massaged into the meat.

Then sealed and left for at least one hour.

The salt draws out the moisture, replacing the water with oil, making the meat more tender and adding depth to the flavour.

Once this step is done, the meat is pat dry before moving on to the confit cooking process.

2. Fat

The most important element of a confit is fat.

Common fats used in a confit include:

  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Chicken
  • Olive oil

3. Slow cooking

After the meat or vegetable is submerged in fat, it’s cooked at a low temperature in the fat for at least a few hours.

Once done, the fat is removed either by draining or leaving to cool and scrapping off.

Epic confit tomato Tarte Tartin

This is a lot less complicated than doing a meat confit as we cut out salt-curing.

The trickiest part is flipping the Tarte Tartin onto a plate once it’s been baked.

And I would advise you do this with caution (let it cool a little first).

If you do this more than once, then you can buy Tarte Tatin dish.

If not, use a 20 cm ovenproof dish and a plate that is about the same size or a little bigger.

And remember this is French rustic cooking, it’s not meant to look perfect 😉


  • 500g/1lb 2oz tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, bashed but left whole
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp herbes de Provence
  • 250g all-butter puff pastry
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Halve the tomatoes and arrange, cut-side up, in a roasting tin just big enough to hold them in one layer.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and put the crushed garlic clove and thyme sprig among the tomatoes, then pour over the oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Cook the tomatoes in the oven for 2–2½ hours.
  4. Once done, let cool and drain the oil away from the tomatoes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan and arrange the confit tomatoes, cut-side down, over the base of your tin. Sprinkle with the herbes de Provence and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roll out the pastry into a circle a little larger than the tin (to allow for shrinkage) and place it over the tomatoes. Tuck the edges of the pastry into the dish and prick a few holes with a sharp knife to let the steam out.
  7. Bake the tarte for 25 mins, until the pastry is golden.
  8. Let it cool a little before you take a plate to cover the tin and flip it out.
  9. If you have some balsamic glaze, drizzle a little over and sprinkle some thyme leaves.
  10. Serve.
Confit tomato tarte tartin. A superb meat-free Monday dish

Meat-free Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…

Not only is this epic confit tomato Tarte Tartin fantastic.

Which you will want to keep repeating.

But if you want to do another meat-free Monday dish.

Then make sure you check out this 15 min midweek meal, corn, tomato and gnocchi.

It’s a knockout dish (even if it doesn’t sound it!)



BBC Good Food