Hot girl summer? Check. Done. We’re hot. You know what I’ve got my eye on for the coming months? BLT SUMMER. Sourdough bread, extra mayonnaise, seasoned fresh perfect sun-ripened tomatoes, bibb lettuce, and thick crisp bacon cooked with a tiny bit of brown sugar. An absolute dream but that day isn’t here yet. In these days before fresh tomatoes are at their peak, we can use the oven to coax their perfect sweetness onto our plate, paired with rich puff pastry because why not? Today’s offering is an easy upside down tomato pie recipe (also known as a tomato tarte tatin) for dinner, for this weekend’s late breakfast, for a long Friday lunch with a glass of wine.
Until we can get our hands on a BLT, let this tart do everything (and with minimal dishes thaaaank you!).
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the easiest upside down tomato pie recipe:
• olive oil
• unsalted butter or vegan butter
• two pints of cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups)
• sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
• balsamic vinegar
• fresh herbs
• puff pastry – either an all-butter puff pastry like Dufour or a vegan puff pastry like Aussie Bakery.
If you happen to have pie crust on hand – make this Easy Summer Tomato Galette instead. Same same, but different.
You’ll need a 9 or 10-inch skillet that can go from stovetop to oven (so no plastic handles). I used an enameled 9-inch skillet from Le Creuset. I feel like nonstick is best here and I wouldn’t use a cast iron skillet. The acidity of tomatoes doesn’t play well with the cast iron.
To make this very easy tomato pie recipe / tomato tarte tatin, start by adding fat to the pan. This is where everything good starts. I like a mix of olive oil and butter for function and taste. Allow the butter to melt into the oil over medium heat before adding heaps and heaps of fresh tomatoes.
Give the tomatoes some time in the pan to soften and acclimate to what they are about to do… burst. Stir very occasionally just to let the tomatoes know you’re there and supportive.
As the tomatoes cook down, add a generous amount of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Use the back of a spoon or your spatula to gently press the tomatoes as they cook, releasing any excess juice into the pan to caramelize and cook down.
Add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, a natural compliment to cooking tomatoes. I hope you feel a pattern with this recipe – it’s a little of this, and a little of that, more than it is a recipe.
Cooking the tomatoes down is where you’ll use your eyeballs and cooking sense. Cook the tomatoes down, making sure they’ve all burst, and the juices have reduced to just nearly a syrup. Nothing too watery but not bone dry. The pan should have some thickening tomato sauce at the bottom of the pan. Try to get the sauce thick enough to not make the puff pastry a soggy mess. You’ll know when the time is right to grab the puff pastry.
Unfold the chilled puff pastry and roll it lightly on a floured countertop to extend all sides a half inch or so. Prick with a fork and drape over the hot tomatoes in the hot pan. This takes a bit of finesse and confidence but… doesn’t everything?
I tuck the corners of the puff pastry into the pan. If you want it perfectly even you might trim the edges of the edges of the puff but I’d never waste an inch of pastry, thanks.
For extra security, preheat a baking sheet in the oven and bake this skillet on top of the hot pan. There shouldn’t be any spills but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
While the tomato pie recipe bakes, thing about what you’d like on the side. For lunch, I made a big salad (with plenty of the home grown sprouts I’m obsessed with this spring). For breakfast, soft boiled eggs would be perfection. There’s no wrong answer here – it’s all going to to be gone in a flash.
Bake until the puff pasty has become a flaky golden hat to your tomatoes. Sure it’s more rectangular than circular. That’s just a sign I didn’t fuss with this recipe too much and that’s the vibe.
Inverting a tomato tarte tatin is one part timing to three parts gall. Allow the tarte to rests for five minutes out of the oven. Run a butterknife around the edge of the puff pastry to loosen any bits that may be stuck to the pan. Place a platter or large plate on top of the savory pie and with a deep breath, FLIP!
Gently and slowly lift the skillet, scooping any tomatoes that may have stuck to the pan back on top of the pastry – no one will know.
Wait… does this feel like a very fancy weeknight pizza?
Before serving, layer the top of the tomato pie with herbs like fresh basil, oregano, chives or parsley. Truly – just use whatever you have on hand. It’ll be delicious!
Slice, and enjoy promptly. This tomato tarte tatin is best straight from the oven in generous slices.
Other inspired tomato pies you might enjoy:
• Cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions baked with big boy biscuits: Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits
• Maybe the most summer tomato recipes I’ve ever made: Mediterranean Whipped Feta and Fresh Tomato Tart
Enjoy this easy and most delicious entrance into summer!
Leave your recipe and rating and comments below – they’re so helpful to other bakers! Thanks friends, happy baking!
An easy way to make tomato pie with cherry tomatoes and puff pastry. Serve this simple tarte with a side salad for dinner or poached eggs and bacon breakfast.
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat a 9 or 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add oil and butter and allow the butter to melt. Add tomatoes to the warm skillet and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Allow the tomatoes to cook until softened and they begin to pop. Gently begin to press the the tomatoes to release their juices and seeds. Continue to cook down until the juices begin to reduce and thicken. Add more salt and pepper to taste as well as vinegar. Cook until tomatoes are softened through and the juices feel syrupy, about 12-16 minutes depending on your tomatoes.
- Use your best judgement here. You want the tomatoes mixture to be moist but not so wet that you think they’ll make for a sloppy tart when it is inverted.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Unfold puff pastry onto the counter and gently roll to extend the sides about half and inch. Prick with a fork a handful of times. Gently place the cold puff pastry over the skillet of tomatoes. Tuck any corners into the skillet.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes until deeply golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a large plate or serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving warm. This tart is best served just after it is made. Any leftover can be stores in the refrigerator and reheated in the oven before serving. Serve with salad or poached eggs.