Seasonal recipe No 29 – Shallot tatin

We’re nearing the end of the Camel CSA harvest of shallots, so this would be a good recipe to try while you still have some. It’s from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. If you haven’t got enough shallots, make up the quantity with onions.

Serves 6

Preparation time: about 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 45 minutes

450g shallots
175g any leftover soft cheese, such as Brie or Camembert
40g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
500g puff pastry
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Peel the shallots, leaving them whole and cut the cheese into thickish slices. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the shallots and cook for 5-7 minutes if small, 10 if larger. Drain and put to one side.

Heat the butter and oil in an ovenproof pan or a frying pan with a detachable handle. When the butter has melted, sprinkle in the sugar and allow it to dissolve gently before adding the shallots. Season well and allow them to cook until a rich golden caramel. Remove from the heat.

Roll out the pastry to a circle a bit bigger than the pan. Spread the slices of cheese over the shallots and lay the pastry over the top, pressing it down slightly all around the edge. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until risen and golden.

Allow to cool a little and then put a large serving plate over the pan and invert it quickly so that the shallots are on the top with the pastry underneath. Serve warm with a crisp green salad.

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