I picked up a great food magazine at the supermarket checkout while in France. It’s squarely aimed at busy housewives so the recipes are simple and unpretentious but still pointedly French and very seasonal. This savoury tarte tatin seemed particularly autumnal, with the addition of maple syrup tipping it over the edge. So here, translated from the original French, is Tarte Tatin aux carottes et feta.
Start with 800g of carrots, which amounts to 6 or 7 big ones. Chop the ends off and peel them. Then slice into “rondelles”. The easiest way to do this is to whack them through a food processor with the slicer attachment. Melt 20g of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan that will go in the oven. Swirl in two tablespoons of maple syrup. The original recipe uses two tablespoons of caster sugar if you don’t have maple syrup.
Then add the carrots and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping gently every couple of minutes. While this is going slice a 200g packet of feta into thin slices and roll out half a 500g block of pastry until it’s big enough to cover the pan. The carrots will let out some juice so cook until this has bubbled off. Arrange the feta over the top of the carrots and then place the pastry over the top, tucking it in at the sides. Then put the whole thing in the oven for 40 minutes.
Flipping it out requires placing a plate over the top and some decisive wrist action. It should come out fairly cleanly but if there’s any slices of carrots left in the pan, pick them out and arrange them neatly on the top. The maple syrup caramelises the carrots into a chewy sweetness which is perfectly matched by the salty feta.
Serve with a green salad and a baked potato if you need something more substantial. This’ll do for four with leftovers. Vive les tartes indeed.