Olives & tomato tarte tatin


Serves 4-5 people


  • 4 dl stone-milled flour

  • 2 dl ice cold water

  • 250g butter


  • 250g pearl onions

  • 250g cherry tomatoes (optional: it looks nicer with different colored tomatoes)

  • 100g pitted olives

  • 2 medium yellow onions (roughly diced)

  • 8-10 brown mushrooms (chopped)

  • 4 gloves garlic (crushed)

  • 50g butter

  • 50g granulated brown sugar + 1 tbsp

  • 1 tbsp thyme

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • Oil and/or butter for frying


1. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and add the cold water. Using your fingers, combine the flour and water until just combined. Wrap the “dough” in plastic film and refrigerate for 30 min. At about the same time you refrigerate the dough, place the butter into the freezer..

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangular sheet. Using the larger hole side of a grater, grate a quarter of the frozen butter onto the rectangular dough. Fold the dough over the butter, seal the edges, and roll out into a rectangle using a rolling pin. Repeat the process four times (folding and rolling) until the all the butter has been incorporated. Fold the dough as though you were folding a towel, cover with plastic film, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

3. Preheat oven to 220°C. In a medium-large pot, heat water until it starts boiling. Remove from heat and add pearl onions – make sure that all onions are fully immersed for 30 seconds. Drain water and peel/remove the outermost layer on the onions. Set aside.

4. In a frying pan (does not have to be oven proof), drizzle some olive oil or melt some butter for frying. Add the chopped onion, pearl onions, thyme, and 1 tbsp of sugar, and fry the onion until caramelized (abt. 10-15 minutes). Add the chopped mushrooms, garlic, and fry for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. In a clean oven proof pan (preferably iron skillet), heat the butter and brown sugar until the sugar is caramelized (about 5-10 minutes). Do not stir the sugar. Remove from heat. .

5. Arrange the cherry tomatoes, olives, and pearl tomatoes onto the caramelized sugar. Fill in the gaps with the rest of the caramelized onion. 

6. Remove your puff pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, shape into a circle. Place on top of the pan contents. Tuck-in the edges and fold any excess pastry on top. Using a fork or skewer stick, puncture several holes evenly across the pastry. Transfer to oven and bake for 25-30 min, or until golden.

7. Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 min. Loosen the crust by running a knife around the edge of the pan. Place a firm flat surface (e.g. baking sheet, serving platter etc.) on top of the skillet pan and invert to release the pastry. 

8. Enjoy whilst still warm!

NOTE: If you do not have the time, or simply aren't up to the task of making your own puff pastry, a store bought puff pastry is an ideal substitute.

© Menzi Mhlanga

© Menzi Mhlanga