Olives & tomato tarte tatin


Serves 4-5 people

What you will need:

  • Puff pastry of your choice

  • 250g pearl onions (alternatively, small shallots, halved)

  • 8-10 heirloom tomatoes (depends on the size of your pan)

  • 100g pitted olives

  • 3 large yellow onions (thick slices)

  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed and finely chopped)

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp thyme

  • Sea salt and black pepper to season

  • Oil and/or butter for frying

  • 80g gruyère cheese , grated

  • 200g mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 1 egg, beaten


1. Heat oven to 150°C. Coat tomatoes with olive oil and roast for 1½ - 2 hours. This will allow the tomatoes to not only cook slowly, but will also reduce some of the excess moisture from the tomatoes. Once roasted, set tomatoes aside and increase oven temperature to 225°C..

2. Prepare your puff pastry dough and cut into a round that’s the base diameter of your pan + 1”. Using a fork, prick the pastry evenly to ensure that it doesn’t puff up when baking. Set aside in the refrigerator whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients. .

4. In a frying pan (does not have to be oven proof), drizzle some olive oil or melt some butter for frying. Add the sliced yellow onion, pearl onions, thyme, garlic, and sugar. Cover and let onion cook until caramelized (abt. 15-20 minutes).

5. In a clean oven proof pan (preferably cast iron pan), arrange roasted tomatoes evenly across the surface of the pan. FIll-in the gaps with pearl onions and olives, ensuring that every bottom inch of the pan is covered. Spread the caramelized onions evenly as a second layer over the tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle gruyère and mozzarella as a third layer.

Remove pastry from refrigerator and brush one side with egg. Carefully place the pastry over the pan contents (egg washed side down). Tuck-in the pastry along the edge of the pan. Brush the top side with egg. Place pan in oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. The crust should be a deep golden color.

7. Once cooked, 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!

© Menzi Mhlanga

© Menzi Mhlanga