Tag Archives: tatin

Apricot Tatin and Caramelized Pecans Brittle … Let’s enjoy the last days of the Summer

31 Aug

Summer time in my family always reminds me of great amount of peaches, nectarines, melon or apricots trays stored in the freshness of the garage or the cellar.
Yes, all Summer long we enjoy tasty tomatoes, fresh salads, basil from the gardens and fruits all the time….
As the numbers tends to vary dramatically from one week to another, we always have to think about new ways to recycle the leftovers.
When it comes to fruits, we usually think about homemade jam, preserves but also poached fruits or tarts.
Ripen apricots are perfect for the Tatin as they will caramelize and soften in the oven.

Ingredients for the Apricot Tatin:

  • a block of good puff pastry or a ready to use one
  • a dozen of apricots halved and stoned
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 50g of unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • aromatic herbs optional (rosemary, basil…)
  • plain flour for dusting
  • unsweetened vanilla whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Ingredients for Caramelized Pecans Brittle:

  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • a Silpat or parchment paper

Method for the Tatin:

Start a caramel in a medium ovenproof frying pan (about 24cm in diameter). Put the sugar in the pan over a medium heat and let it cook until the sugar gets a nice golden brown color. Don’t stir the sugar but swirl it around the pan every now and then so that it caramelize evenly.

Apricots Halved

Stir the butter in carefully as it may splatters in reaction to the extremely hot caramel. At that stage, if you want to give an extra flavor to your Tatin, add the herb of your choice (be careful with rosemary, it quickly overpower the other flavors, only put a small amount). Stir for about 2-3 minutes until a smooth caramel starts to get together. Remove the herbs if you have put some and place the apricots on top, keep on cooking for 2-3 minutes on very low heat just to get the apricots slightly cooked. Then let them cool down for 15-20 minutes.

Apricot Caramelize

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

If your puff pastry is not rolled out, flour a flat and clean surface and start to roll it out until 2mm high and cut a circle out of it, 2-3cm wider than the pan. Place it on top of the apricots and gently push down or fold the sides so that the puff pastry fits in the pan. Using a fork, prick the surface so that it doesn’t rise too much.

Bake the tart in the pan for 25 minutes or until the apricots are well cooked and the surface of the puff pastry gets a nice golden color.

Apricot Oven

Using an oven glove, get the Tatin out of the oven and leave it to rest a few minutes then place a serving dish (larger than the pan) on top of the pan and quickly turn it upside down. When you feel that the Tatin is out of the pan, remove the pan, clean the edges of the serving dish and serve it straight away with vanilla whipped cream or ice-cream.

Apricot Result 2

Apricot Result


Method for the Caramelized Pecans:

For the pecans, start another caramel in a clean heavy bottom frying pan. Bring the sugar to a nice golden brown caramel and spread the pecans on top of it. Using a silicon or wooden spatula, quickly help the pecans to get coated off the heat. Gently pour the content of the pan on the Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. Let it cool down and once it is cold, roughly chop it in order to get small pieces of caramelized pecans.

Spread them on top of the whipped cream, ice-cream or tart.

Apricot Pecan Caramelized

Apricot Served


Tomatoes Feast: Slow Roasted Tomatoes and a Pizza Adaptation….

14 Aug

As I spent part of my Summer in South Corsica, I have been lucky enough to use and taste really good local products among which the tomato of course!

We also had amazing basil, aromatic herbs, fresh garlic, courgettes and cured meat of course.

But tomatoes…. they had dozens of them… yellow, green, beef, on the vine….. you can create colorful dishes using only tomatoes!

That’s why I wanted to keep on cooking with them after Corsica.

As I arrived at my cousin’s house on the “Ile de Groix” which is on the West Coast of France, close to Lorient, I decided to slow-roast them for a change. And it was a delicious side for the grilled sausages we had for lunch.

Now I am in Auvergne, I have used them for a pizza as I had a pizza dough, mozzarella and pasta paste leftovers to get rid of…. Indeed, for a leftover dish, I’ll even order it at the restaurant!

pizza 4

Ingredients for a tray of Slow Roasted Tomatoes:

  • a baking tray covered with parchment paper
  • about 20 tomatoes on the vine, washed and cut in halves
  • a head of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • thyme, oregano, rosemary…. dried or fresh
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • olive oil


Preheat your oven to 150°C.

Place your tomatoes next to each other on the tray, do not hesitate to squeeze them as they will loose a lot of juice and shrink.

Spread the garlic cloves, herbs, seeds, salt, pepper, sugar and drizzle generously with olive oil.

1-Raw Tomatoes

Place in the oven for at least 1-2 hours. You can decrease the temperature to 120°C and cook them up to 3-4 hours.

The tomatoes are ready when they have shrunk and lost most of their juice. The longer you cook them, the more they will shrink and get a strong taste.

Depending on the temperature of the oven, they will get slightly dark on top, choose the lower temperature to avoid that.

As you have kept the garlic in the shell, you will obtain a yummy garlic paste ready to eat or to use in a risotto for example.


You can serve them hot or cold as a side, spread them on a green salad, keep them in a jar in olive oil, process them to get a tasty tomato tapenade or use them for a tomato tart, Tatin or pizza.

I have served them with grilled meat at lunch last week and used them to get rid of the leftovers at home: pizza dough, mozzarella, Sacla sauce (pepper and mozzarella) and lots of rocket and shaved Parmesan on top.


For the Pizza:

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place your pizza dough on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

Simply spread a thin layer of sauce with a spoon on the pizza dough, cover with the sliced mozzarella then add the slow roasted tomatoes on top.

Bake for 15 minutes then spread a generous amount of rocket on top, shave fresh Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil or pizza spicy oil and serve it straight away….

Tomates Confites au Four

Ingrédients pour une plaque de Tomates Confites:

  • une plaque de cuisson couverte de papier sulfurisé
  • une vingtaine de tomates grappes, lavées et coupées en 2
  • une tête d’ail, gousses séparées mais non épluchées
  • 1 cc de graines de fenouil
  • du thym, de l’origan, du romarin, frais ou séché
  • sel et poivre du moulin
  • 1 cc de sucre en poudre
  • huile d’olive


Préchauffez votre four à 150°C.

Placez vos tomates côte à côte sans qu’elles se chevauchent mais en les serrant bien sur la plaque. Elles vont réduire. En revanche si elles se chevauchent, elles ne vont pas confire mais bouillir.

Faites les cuire 1 à 2 heures jusqu’à ce qu’elles aient bien rendu l’essentiel de leur jus. Plus elles vont cuire, plus elles auront un effet « confites ». Dans ce cas, optez pour une cuisson plus longue de 3-4 heures à 120°C.

Servez-les chaudes ou froides en guise d’accompagnement, faites-en des conserves en les immergeant dans de l’huile d’olive, passez-les au blender pour en faire une bonne tapenade ou utilisez-les pour en faire des tartes fines aux tomates, des Tatins ou encore de bonnes pizzas.

Pour la Pizza:

Pour finir les restes, je les ai associées à une pâte à pizza, de la sauce Sacla poivron-mozzarella et de la mozzarella.

Préchauffez votre four à 200°C.

Placez la pâte à pizza sur une plaque de cuisson couverte de papier sulfurisé. Etalez genereusement la sauce Sacla poivron-mozzarella jusqu’a 1-2 cm du bord puis disposez les tranches de mozzarella et recouvrez de tomates confites.

Faites cuire 15 min puis recouvrez la pizza de roquette et de Parmesan en copeaux.

pizza 1

Pizza 2

pizza 3

Tomato Tatin… almost seasonal in Miami!

1 Nov

As I left France (already) 3 months ago, brothers & sisters were still on holidays, we had lots of time for doing just what we wanted to and it was a good opportunity to visit some of the great markets that we are lucky to have in our countryside.

Some of you will always have butter and jam in their fridge, ham and gherkins, champagne and caviar….. mine is always full of fresh salads and vegetables…. Boring? Not at all, let me prove it to you as I proved it to the whole family especially the male section…..!


  • 1 portion of puff pastry – preferably ready to use
  • 4-5 fleshy tomatoes on the vine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Caster sugar
  • Fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano
  • Basil pesto optional


Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F
Cut the tomatoes into wedges, remove the seeds and drain most of the juice.

Cover a tart pan with parchment paper, place the wedges next to each other and as close a possible as they will shrink while cooking.

Drizzle with some pesto or just with olive oil, salt and pepper, chopped herbs and a little sugar then cook it in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until the tomatoes get soft and start to shrink. The juice of the tomatoes should have evaporated and if you have put sugar it has started to slightly caramelize.

Unroll your puff pastry on top of the dish and fold back into the dish the excess of puff pastry.*

Bake it for 15-20 minutes until the puff pastry is thoroughly cooked and gets a nice golden brown color.
As the tart is still hot, turn it upside down on a serving plate and gently remove the parchment paper.**

Let it cool down a little and drizzle pesto all over the tart.
You can finish with some fresh rocket or other baby leaves to decorate.
Serve it hot or cold, on a buffet or as a starter with a bunch of mixed leaves on the side, a great board of cheese and lots of delicatessen to make sure the WHOLE family loves it.

*You can also make individual tarts for starter. Use tartlets pan and process the same way. It will make 6-8 tarts about 10cm diameter.

**If you wait too long, the sugar caramel will get hard and stick to the bottom of the dish. If this happen, quickly put your tart back in the oven to soften the caramel.

Pepper, Ham & Goat’s Cheese Tatin

12 Jul

Here is another great recipe that I learned from my sister Sophie…. and as usual, it’s a fast BUT breathtaking one! It’s colourful, tasty and economic as well. Isn’t it a good news? Especially when you have to feed great tables of starving family members asking for variety in their plates…..

The other good news is that kids love it as well because it’s a little sweet and not too strong because we use fresh goat’s cheese. And if you want to keep it veggie, just remove the ham, it still tastes great!


  • 1 portion of puff pastry – preferably ready to use
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 log of fresh goat’s cheese such as Petit Billy or Chavroux (no rind)
  • 2-3 slices of ham
  • 1-2 tbsp of demerara sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coriander or Flat parsley


Preheat your oven to 180°
Cut the peppers into 2, remove the stalks and the seeds, it gets faster if you quickly rinse them once opened…. Then cut them into long stripes 3-4 mm wide.
Also cut the ham into 3-4 mm stripes and the lenghth of the peppers. I usually cut the ham in the middle lenghthwise then cut it into stripes!

Drizzle a large frying pan with olive oil and get it hot enough to fry the peppers. Once they get a nice coloration and start to soften, sprinkle a tbsp of demerara sugar on top of it to enhance the caramelization.
Once the sugar has nicely coated the peppers, set them aside and quickly fry the ham in the same pan to get it slightly caramelized but not dried.

Turn off the fire and pour the peppers back to the pan. Quickly mix them altogether and nicely spread them in a large tart dish.
Unroll your puff pastry on top of the dish and fold back into the dish the excess of puff pastry.*

Bake it for 15-20 minutes until the puff pastry os thoroughly cooked and gets a nice golden brown colour.
As the tart is still hot, turn it upside down on a serving plate.**

Let it cool down a little and drop little portion of goat’s cheese the size of cherry all over the tart. It will get slightly hot without melting.
Finish with some coriander or parsley leaves.
Serve it hot or cold, on a buffet or as a starter with a bunch of mixed leaves.

*You can also make individual tarts for starter. Use tartlets pan and process the same way. It will make 6-8 tarts about 10cm diameter.

**If you wait too long, the sugar caramel will get hard and stick to the bottom of the dish. If this happen, quickly put your tart back in the oven to soften the caramel.