Sweet Potato Tart Tatin. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Well, I did. Sorta. So I’m sorta a genius. I sorta suppose.
You see I thought of something sorta similar to this last month. Only I called it a gratin, sorta. An upside-down sweet potato gratin with tomatoes and caramelized onions. It was a gratin because it was baked with goat cheese and sprinkled with breadcrumbs. But inverting it on the plate before serving made it like a tatin. Sorta.
But I didn’t see that until I got some comments that opened my eyes. Comments like these. Sorta.
“Your inversion reminds me of a tart tatin, and I think you were smart to hold the breadcrumbs for passing at the table. Sounds delicious!” Oui, Chef
“You have melded a gratin with a tatin and made something altogether unique!” Sylvie @ GITK
So now I am doing a week-long series of Savory Pies. It didn’t take a genius to figure I could convert my gratin into a tatin. But it did take a coupla geniuses to help me perfect it. Sorta.
serves 8 CLICK here for a printable recipe
- (14 ounce) package frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 3 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more as garnish
- 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (try to buy potatoes of relatively even width and few bulges), peeled, ends removed, and sliced into 1/8″ rounds
- 1 pinch each kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
Place oven rack in center position. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a lightly floured work surface and a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the puff pastry out to about a 10-inch x 15-inch rectangle a scant 1/4-inch thick (if you are using the kind of puff pastry that comes in a two sheet (17.5 ounce) package, stack both sheets on top of each other before rolling. This will assure you have a big enough piece of pastry to work with, but will leave quite a bit of leftover pastry. Save the scraps for another use).
Use the point of a sharp knife and a 10 to 11-inch dinner plate as a template to cut pastry into a round. Set round onto the prepared baking sheet. Prick pastry round all over with a fork. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. Save scraps for another use.
Pour maple syrup into a cold 10-inch cast iron skillet. Scatter butter slices here and there over maple syrup, followed by thyme leaves.
Starting in the center, arrange thinly sliced sweet potato rounds in a couple layers of overlapping concentric circles right on top of the syrup, butter and thyme. You should get 2 to 3 layers. Season with salt and pepper.
Get the chilled pastry round from the refrigerator. Carefully lay dough on top of sliced sweet potatoes.Tuck the edges in all around the skillet, creating a snug fit. Brush exposed pastry with egg wash. Pierce the center with the point of a sharp knife to create a vent for steam to escape.
Bake until edges are deep amber and pastry is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, set a serving plate that’s larger than the skillet upside down on top of the skillet. Using oven mitts or thick kitchen towels in both hands, hold the plate and skillet firmly together in front of you. Quickly invert both the plate and the skillet in one confident motion, letting the tart fall onto the plate. The plate will now be on the bottom and skillet will be upside down on top. Carefully remove the skillet allowing the tart to settle in one piece onto the serving plate. Be careful as the syrup will be hot. A few potato slices may stick to the bottom of the skillet; simply remove them with a spatula and place them on top of the finished tart. Garnish with more thyme leaves.
The end result will be like a traditional tart with the crust on the bottom and potatoes on the top. Slice into 8 wedges and serve warm.
Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course
NOTE: This recipe comes from my book Savory Pies (Ulysses Press 2012).
SERIOUS FUN FOOD