Shallot, potato and goat's cheese tatin 14.03.2010

I find that the hardest thing about having people around for dinner (particularly on special occasions) is thinking of what to cook, and more so when it’s my mother I’m cooking for – on her 60th birthday no less. And so it was that I found myself casting around for entree options late on Friday night, when finally I stumbled on Yotan Ottolenghi’s recipe for a savoury tarte tatin. Ottolenghi’s receipe is for two individual 10cm tarts in their own tins, but because I was cooking for nine people, I took a leap and assembled them in muffin tins – a decision I was panicking about until they turned out perfectly. What follows is my adjusted recipe, which is for 10 little tarts. I’m going to try this with apple tarte tatin sometime soon.


  • 20 tiny potatoes – 2 for each tarte
  • 20 french shallots, each peeled divided on their natural breaks into two little gems
  • 200gms goat’s cheese – I used a soft chevre, but I think it would work with any type of cheese
  • A few springs of thyme
  • 50gms butter
  • 200gms caster suger
  • 4 or 5 sheets of puff pastry


  • Two muffin tins with at least 10 large holes between them – the holes need to be at least 8-9cm at the base
  • An oven tray larger than the largest muffin tin for turning the tarts out onto


Oil the muffin trays and set them aside.

Boil the potatoes in salty water for 25 minutes, or until they're tender but not crumbly. Fish them out of the water and set them aside to cool. Once they're cool, cut a bit off each end of each potato, and then cut them in half down the middle (so that you end up with lumps that will stand up on their own).

Simmer the shallots in the potato water for 10 minutes, then drain.

Then the caramel: Ottolenghi's recipe says to heat the butter and sugar over a high flame, stirring constantly, until a semi-dark caramel forms. I wasn't totally sure what a 'semi-dark caramel' should look like, so I ended up with something between milk and dark chocolate in colour, and it was fine. It took about ten minutes to come together.

Divide the caramel between the muffin tins and allow the caramel to spread over the bases of each hole, and then sprinkle a few leaves of thyme on top.

Arrange four potato halves on top of each caramel base, and nestle a couple of shallots in amongst them and grind some salt and pepper over the top, then place slices of goat's cheese on top of each tart.

Finally, cut discs of puff pastry that are 2cm wider than your tarts and place over the top, tucking the edges down around the tart contents.

At this point, you can refrigerate the tarts until you're ready to cook them, although as with all things it's worth getting them out of the fridge half an hour before they go in the oven.

To cook, put them in a preheated 200 degree oven for 15 minutes, and leave in for a further 5-8 minutes at 180. They should be ready when the puff pastry is all puffy and golden on top.

The last step is to turn them out, which is trickier than it would be with individual tarts - you need to place your oven tray upside down over the muffin tins and then perform a deft and quick flip, holding the two tightly together as you do so. Then gently lift the muffin tin off, leaving the tarts behind.

Serve with a green salad.

File under vegetarian

Download a print-friendly PDF

Virginia makes web things and food things. Mainly bread. Oh, bread.

Sorry, comments are not available on this post.


Noms Elsewhere