Droolworthy Appetizer: Pompette’s Shallot Tarte Tatin
A tantalizing recipe from Canada’s Best New Cookbook.
There’s a lot of food to love in Canada, from Nova Scotia lobster to Quebec poutine. From Destination Canada and Air Canada, Canada’s Best New Cookbook is the natural continuation of enRoute’s competitive list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants—the new cookbook features beloved recipes from over 30 restaurants that have made it onto the list’s top 10 alongside stories and asides. Author Amy Rosen celebrates the culinary landscape from coast to coast, sharing recipes that have kept diners coming back to some of the country’s most iconic eateries. This shallot tarte tatin recipe comes from Martine Bauer, the chef behind Toronto’s Pompette. Caramelized shallots are paired with creamy and woodsy Adoray cheese for a decadent yet balanced appetizer that’s sure to impress and delight.
Yield: Four servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds shallots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon jam (can be any flavour, but chef Martine recommends plum, fig, or blueberry)
The leaves of 1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 pinches of sea salt
250 grams puff pastry (usually 1 sheet or block from a package)
1 round of Adoray cheese, a soft cow’s milk cheese from Quebec, or if you can’t find it, substitute Vacherin Mont-d’Or
Preheat oven to 360°F.
Over low heat, add oil to a medium pan, sprinkle evenly with sugar, then arrange shallots cut side down. Turn heat to medium and add butter and vinegar, then evenly distribute jam and thyme leaves in and around shallots. Season with salt.
Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until shallots have softened. Set aside.
Roll out puff pastry on countertop. Place a 9-inch cake pan upside down on pastry and cut around edges to make an even round.
Grease the cake pan and arrange shallots face down in a circular pattern, starting with the outside and working your way toward the centre. Drizzle remaining jus from the pan over top.
Place the puff pastry round on top of arranged shallots, tucking extra pastry onto the side of the cake pan. Once secure, gently poke the pastry with the tip of a knife approximately 8 times to allow steam to escape.
Place the tart in the preheated oven on middle rack and bake for 35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and carefully place a plate on top of the pan and flip the tart upside down so it comes out onto the plate. This requires a steady hand and a deep breath.
Slice the round of L’Adoray cheese into quarters and place each piece onto a quarter of the tart, close to the middle, which will allow the cheese to melt and ooze toward the outside of the tart. Place back in oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, slice into quarters, and enjoy.