‘Tis the season to entertain. This either fills you with dread or excitement. I hope it is the latter.
So there you are, great friends are coming over and as it is high summer chances are you have a braai planned. Friend 1 is bringing a salad, Friend 2 is bringing a pudding, and it goes without saying that everyone will bring their own drinks. Yip, this is pretty much how we entertain good friends in South Africa.
All that is left for you to prepare is that pre-meal snack thingy. Now, I really don’t want to spend the day knocking chips and dips out of plastic containers but Friends, I really do think we can do better in the appetizer department. This Caramelised Shallot Tarte Tatin is going to be your new go to. Trust me.
Get passed the fancy name and the fact that it looks like something that might chain you to your kitchen for hours. It won’t. Trust me. You are cooking off sweet onions for a few minutes in caramelized butter and sugar which frankly you really don’t even need to measure out. On top of that you are going to plop some ready-made puff pastry. Rustic is the Tarte Tatin, no perfection is required, no finesse is expected. Into the oven it goes and Bob’s your uncle. It really could not be easier, especially if Uncle Bob is around to help you turn it out of the pan, the only teeny little tricky part of the whole thing.
I love to serve this Caramelised Shallot Tarte Tatin almost like you would a pizza, where guests can simply help themselves to a slice. If you think this overly grand – why not serve it as a plated starter instead? For vegetarian guests, make these in individual portions together with a great salad and serve it as their main course. They will adore you. Trust me.
If you absolutely cannot find shallots, although they are pretty easy to find at Woolies lately, you can use small sweet onions instead.
We are all about festive recipes this month on the blog. We started with this Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and coming next is a rather odd little family Christmas Morning tradition I married in to.
- 500 g shallots, peeled
- 30 ml (2 T) olive oil
- 30 ml (2 T) butter
- 30 ml (2 T) brown sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves
- 300g puff pastry, defrosted according to directions
- Place the peeled shallots in small saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins and drain.
- Cut the shallots in half.
- Heat the oil, butter and sugar in a shallow frying pan that is able to go into the oven.
- Add the shallots and toss over a gentle heat for about 10 mins or until the shallots are lightly browned.
- Season to taste.
- Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
- Allow the onions to cool slightly.
- Roll out the puff pastry such that it is just slightly bigger than your frying pan.
- Place the puff pastry over the shallots, turning the edges down the sides of the pan.
- Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 190˚C for 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a flat plate.
- Cut into wedges and serve warm.