This 25cm, 4cm deep cast iron, heavy based dish came with a booklet informing that it is suitable to use on the hobs, gas ovens, electric, fan etc. Also it contains few interesting recipes, not for Tatin tarts only and use and care instruction in six different languages.
What I love about this dish (except from stunning look - I love "volcanic" line) is the position of the handles. They are set lower than the top pf the dish so it is much easier to turn the dish upside down and flip the contents over. It was not that comforting when using an ordinary pan for making tart Tatin.
After use it is easy to clean, dishwasher safe. I am sure you can use it for other dishes and I am certainly going to do it in the future (roasting potatoes? making gratin? you name it!). Worth it's price, will last for ages. Definite must have for all tart Tatin lovers.
Today I am going to show you another tart Tatin, but again - not a classic one. Again it is going to be veg Tatin and this is my absolutely number one when butternut squash in season. It is quite controversial - people either love it or hate it. It is vegetable although quite sweet and it has this specific star anise flavour thanks to a fennel. I have to admit I couldn't stand the stuff till I was in my twenties and I "blame" the fennel for loving or heating this tart. I love it.
Recipe inspired by "Vegetarian Christmas" by Good Food magazine, December 2008 issue.
Makes one 25cm tart
piece of butternut squash, cut into few long strips (it is important to cut them so they can fit into dish, arranged into a flower like shape)
fennel bulb, sliced
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
small handful of dried cranberries
ready rolled puff pastry, big enough to cover the dish
salt (I used thyme & lemon peel salt)
tbsp freshly grated parmesan
fresh thyme to decorate would be ideal I forgot to buy it, so used fresh mint instead
Heat the oven to 180C.
Place the squash, fennel and garlic on a baking tray lined with some baking paper, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile place the tart dish on the hob and add sugar with about 30ml of water. Leave it to boil, do not stir. When it starts to bubble and changes the colour to golden remove from the hob add vinegar and stir thoroughly.
Remove the veg from the oven and turn the temperature up to 200C.
Arrange alternately the fennel and squash into flower like shape. Squeeze the garlic out of its skins and chop roughly. Arrange onto the veg. Place some cranberries in the spaces between veg. Sprinkle with parmesan and cover with the puff pastry. Gently push the edges down to the dish. Prick the top of the pastry with a fork few times so the steam can easily go out.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave it to rest for few minutes. Place a big plate on the dish and turn up side down. Do not worry if anything stocks to the dish, as the caramel is quite sticky. Gently remove it from the dish and place on the tart.
Decorate with few fresh thyme springs (instead there is a mint on my picture). Serve hot or cold.
Interested in up side down tarts? Click here for my other Tatin recipe.