Shallot Tarte Tatin with Homemade Puff Pastry
Serves: 6 servings tart tatin. Makes 2.5 lbs/1.2kg puff pastry.
 
A sweet savoury tarte tatin made with caramelised shallots on home made all butter puff pastry
Ingredients
PUFF PASTRY
  • 1 pound/455g/ approx 3 31/3 cups plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 pound/455g/4 sticks unsalted cold butter, cut in large cubes
  • 1¼ cups/228g/295mL cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
SHALLOT TARTE TATIN
  • 1 pound/455g shallots
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar/demerara sugar
  • ½ stick/50g butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or a teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound/500g puff pastry, frozen or home made
Instructions
PUFF PASTRY
  1. Sift the flour and salt together onto a clean counter top.
  2. Add the cold cubes of butter.
  3. Using a pastry scraper, cut the butter into the flour.
  4. Once the butter is in smaller chunks and is covered with the flour, add the water, a little at a time.
  5. You may not need all the water so dribble a little at a time.
  6. As you add the water, toss the flour and butter onto itself mixing and shaping.
  7. Use the pastry scraper to keep a neat rectangular pile.
  8. Add flour to keep it from sticking, but only if really needed.
  9. It will be messy and rough.
  10. Try and coax the flour and butter globs into a letter fold: into thirds.
  11. Turn the pastry "letter" long ways, and roll out the messy dough.
  12. It will not be smooth at all, but just flatten the dough out with the rolling pin.
  13. Roll into somewhat of a rectangle again and fold into thirds.
  14. Do this about 4 times and by that time, the dough will be smooth and pastry like.
  15. The dough will benefit greatly from chilling after the 4th turn.
  16. Chill for 30 minute to allow the butter to firm up and produce those flaky layers.
  17. After the dough has chilled, a couple more turns adds more layers but you can use it.
  18. Another period of rest can really help the dough so if you are making this ahead of time, chilling will help.
  19. You can also freeze the pastry at this point.
  20. If you're using it to make the tarte tatin, you need only 1 pound/455g.
  21. Divide the rest into two and freeze in portions.
SHALLOT TARTE TATIN
  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉/200℃
  2. Pour boiling water over the shallots and leave them until the water cools.
  3. This allows the skin to peel off easily.
  4. Peel and halve the shallots, then set aside.
  5. Put the sugar in a 9 inch/24cm oven proof skillet, on medium low heat.
  6. Heat the pan until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Watch carefully because it can burn quickly.
  8. Add the butter, thyme and the balsamic vinegar or pepper.
  9. Careful since it will splutter.
  10. Remove the pan from heat and put the shallots into the pan, cut size down.
  11. Roll out the puff pastry, about 1"/2cm larger than the skillet.
  12. Drape the pastry over the shallots and tuck in around the shallots.
  13. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
  14. Leave to rest for a minute and then invert onto a platter.
Notes
If possible, weigh your ingredients for the pastry as that's how the formula is written: equal parts flour and butter with half the weight in water. This puff pastry recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at http://www.coffeeandcrumpets.com/shallot-tarte-tatin-with-homemade-puff-pastry/