Beetroot Tarte Tatins with Frozen Broad Bean Crème Fraîche
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
I can hear the true traditionalists shrieking and screaming at me, how dare I ruin a classic! Well, this is my version of a savoury tarte tatin. For me, a tarte tatin is a fruit or vegetable tart with a puff pastry disc that is cooked upside-down. The fruit or vegetables are initially cooked with sugar and butter to help them caramelise, then they are topped with puff pastry and baked. Once baked, the tart is inverted so that the pastry forms the base and the caramelised fruit or vegetables sit proudly on top.
Savoury tarte tatins are one of my culinary trademark dishes. People who know me well know my mushroom and taleggio tarte tatin that I serve as a canapé at drinks parties. That recipe is the inspiration for this beetroot tarte tatin. When I first created this recipe, I had a beetroot pickle in mind made using my homemade raspberry cider vinegar and the fruity vinegar works perfectly, giving the pickled beetroot a mysterious deliciousness.
Ingredients & Method
For the frozen broad bean crème fraîche
- 100g fresh broad beans (shelled weight)
- 100g crème fraîche
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the beetroot tarte tatins
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the moulds
- 350g raw beetroots, peeled, plus 1 extra raw whole beetroot
- 300g red onions, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
- 50ml Raspberry Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 240g good quality chilled fresh all-butter puff pastry
- baby or mini/micro salad leaves, to serve
For the frozen broad bean crème fraîche, cook the broad beans in a small pan of boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, then drain, refresh in iced water and drain again. Pop the tender, bright green beans out of their outer grey skins by squeezing gently. Discard the outer grey skins and reserve the inner bright green beans.
Weigh 50g broad beans into a small bowl (reserve the remaining broad beans for the garnish) and use a fork to lightly crush the beans, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the crème fraîche, then transfer the mixture to a freezer proof container, cover and freeze for 2–3 hours or until the mixture is firm enough to scoop.
For the beetroot tarte tatins, grease four 8 x 2cm round tart moulds or tins with the extra butter and set aside.
Coarsely grate the peeled raw beetroots. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, add the grated beetroot, onions and salt and pepper, then cover and sweat over a medium heat for 10–15 minutes or until the mixture starts to caramelise, stirring regularly. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add the raspberry cider vinegar to the pan and let it bubble over a high heat for 1–2 minutes, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it, then cover and cook over a medium heat for a further 15–20 minutes or until the pickle is glossy and thickened but is not too dry. Once the pickle is ready, remove from the heat, stir in the thyme, then set aside to cool.
While the pickle is cooling, cook the remaining whole beetroot in a pan of boiling salted water for 20–25 minutes or until tender (the cooking time will depend on the size and age of the beetroot). Once cooked, drain, refresh in cold water and drain again, then peel the beetroot.
Slice the cooked beetroot into 5mm slices and place a slice in the centre of the base of each prepared mould (reserve any remaining slices for the garnish). Spoon a generous amount of beetroot pickle on top of the beetroot slices, dividing it evenly between the moulds, then press it down firmly with a spoon.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 2–3mm thickness. Cut out four 9cm rounds. Place a round of pastry on top of each beetroot-filled mould, tucking the pastry in around the edges to encase the beetroot. Leave them to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place the tarte tatins on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked, well-risen and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the tarts cool in the moulds for a few minutes before carefully turning them out on to serving plates (you may need to loosen them around the edges with a butter knife). It’s important that you turn the tarts out while they are still hot, otherwise they will stick to the moulds. Serve the tarte tatins hot or warm. Spoon a quenelle (spoonful) of the frozen broad bean crème fraîche and some baby salad leaves alongside each tart tatin. Garnish with the reserved broad beans and any remaining cooked beetroot slices (chopped, if you like) and serve immediately.
Make small bite size canape tart tatins by filling a small muffin tray with the beetroot pickle, cut the pastry discs slightly bigger than the actual mould as this will allow for shrinkage. The pastry will gently encase the pickle and form a platform for the little tart tatins. Serve with the frozen broad bean crème fraîche.