I discovered a lovely recipe on the Ottolenghi website for mini shallot, potato and goats cheese tatins and adapted it to make one big savoury tarte tatin to serve as a main course. The sweetness of the caramelised goats cheese and shallots is absolutely delicious with the soft potato and crisp, flaky puff pastry. Best of all, the finished product looks really impressive but is very simple to make...
Ingredients (serves 2-3 as a main course):
Couple of generous handfuls of baby potatoes
80g - 100g Goats cheese
Puff pastry sheet
Salt & pepper
80g caster sugar
1. Use a little olive oil to grease an ovenproof pie/tart dish and place it on a baking tray. Boil some salted water in a pan, add the potatoes to cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the water when just cooked and before they start to break up. Leave to cool.
2. Peel the shallots and add to the same water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
3. Roll out a thin sheet of puff pastry and cut out a circle large enough to cover the dish plus 2-3cms all the way round.
4. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally, trimming the ends of each potato to make the pieces all the same size if desired. Slice larger shallots in half or leave whole. You're aiming for similar sizes of potato and shallot pieces. Slice the goats cheese.
5. Heat the sugar and butter in a small pan over a high heat and stir constantly until a caramel begins to form. When the caramel starts to darken and turn a golden brown colour, remove from the heat and pour into the dish, covering the base.
6. Take a few sprigs of fresh thyme and strip the leaves into the caramel, sprinkling over the base of the dish. Next, add the pieces of potato, pressing them into the caramel and leaving little space between. Gently squeeze the shallot in with the potato and season well.
7. Lay the slices of goats cheese all over the potato and shallot filling, keeping the surface fairly even. Take the thin sheet of puff pastry and gently place it on top, tucking the excess down inside the dish and gently pressing the pastry around the potatoes.
8. Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes, check and turn the dish to cook each side evenly, then for another 15-20 minutes until the pastry is cooked through. The caramel will bubble and the layers of puff pastry start to turn light brown and flaky when the tatin is ready.
9. Remove from the oven and place a plate on top of the dish. Carefully, but quickly, turn the tatin onto the plate and remove the dish. Et voila! Serve with salad or some simple roasted vegetables.