Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin Recipe

Friends, my freezer is near empty. It's clean, anything remaining is labeled, and I can see every item top to bottom. It feels great. One of those small accomplishments that, for weeks, will give me a boost every time I open the door. I baked this simple tomato tarte tatin with a round of frozen pie dough (leftover from this) and some ripe market tomatoes. It's silly simple, and I keep thinking of variations you could do on the overall idea which I'll list off below...

Tomato Tarte TatinTomato Tarte Tatin

As you can see in the photos, I baked this in my cast-iron skillet. I know most people avoid cooking acidic ingredients like tomatoes in cast iron, but this pan is black, slick, and well-seasoned - so baking the tomatoes in it wasn't a problem. If you're on the fence or have new cast iron, switch up your baking pan - anything ovenproof. Then, simply roll out your crust to fit the shape of your pan.

Tomato Tarte Tatin Tomato Tarte Tatin

A couple other thoughts I had related to other directions you could take this:

- Skip the balsamic, add 1 - 2 tablespoons harissa & more zest.

- Add a generous drizzle of herb oil before topping with crust.

- Add some cheese, dollops of ricotta or grated gruyere before topping with crust.

- Instead of topping with a pie crust, top with biscuit dough instead of pie crust (there's a good yogurt biscuit recipe in Super Natural Every Day).


- Or, top with a savory version of a crumble topping - skip the sugar in the crumble.

Tomato Tarte Tatin Recipe

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter

1 1/2 pounds / 24 oz small tomatoes (here it's a mix of heirloom cherry & early girls)

scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
a bit of flour
zest of one lemon

1 pie crust, this rye crust is my go-to
1 egg whisked with a tablespoon of water

Preheat the oven to 400F / 205C.

While the oven is warming, uses a large skillet over medium heat to saute the onions and a couple pinches of salt in the oil/clarified butter. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are deeply golden and caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

While the onions are cooking, cut any larger early girl tomatoes in half. I typically leave the small cherry tomatoes whole. Add to the caramelized onions along with the sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a 10 or 11-inch cast iron skillet or equivalent deep pie dish. If you get the sense that your tomatoes are quite juicy, and might release a lot of liquid, you can toss the mixture with a tablespoon or two of flour at this point. Sprinkle mixture with lemon zest.

Roll out your pie dough, and use it to cover the tomato mixture - tucking in the sides a bit. Brush the crust with the egg wash, cut a few decorative slits in the crust, and bake in the top third of the oven until the crust is deeply golden and the tomatoes are bubbling a bit at the sides, 25 - 30 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 45 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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I love cooking tomatoes in my cast iron skillet... if anything my body can use the extra iron :)!! Seriously I got mine years ago from a woman at a yard sale who inherited it from her mother... there must be 100 years of meals cooked in it and that feel so good... so much love! Great recipe!


SO simple and yet it looks so incredibly delicious! :)

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

Oh a clean organised freezer is just what I need! It feels so good to get those nasty jobs done and even better if you get a gorgeous looking tarte tatin at the end of it. This looks so delicious and simple.


I lived in Aix-en-Provence (South of France) for a whole summer a couple of years ago. The mother of the family I was I guest with, was making a tomato tarte tatin every other week.
In her recipe she would cut tomatoes in half, season them with herbes de provence and some gryuere. Cook them and then cover the whole thing with pie crust on which she would spread a generous amount of moutarde a l'ancienne (the one with grains).
The end result was so so good.
I will translate your recipe and send it to her, I reckon she would love it!

Mike @TheIronYou

Now you're ready to stock your freezer for winter! Oh, the roasted tomatoes. Oh, the peppers and herbs. I'm ready too--I'll just need to make some space first! I have made a tomato "cobbler" like this with sharp cheddar worked into the top crust, which I really liked. Next time I think I'll try your harissa suggestion. You really can't go wrong with harissa. Could you get a great harissa for your online shop, please? :)


Well I'm glad your freezer is all clean and tidy...mine isn't! Another job I must do...but I've just bunged in pounds of this year's blackcurrants. There's only so much jam I can make at a time!

Will definitely use this recipe...sounds gorgeous...the first of the tomatoes are starting to ripen.Thanks....

thinking of the days

Oh I'd love to clean out my freezer too! ....and then the pantry again! This looks beautiful. Simple. The kind of food I need in August. I couldn't live without my cast iron pan. It's my workhorse.


This is such a pretty dinner tart! I've been wanting to bake with my cast iron pan for a while now...this might just be the recipe that gets me to do it!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

It looks fanatastic! I will try this recipe, that will be my first time with Tarte Tatin, so keep fingers for me! ;)


YUM! what an excellent way to eat up all these fresh tomatoes!

Simply Life

I love using cast iron skillets! This is a beautiful dish! The colors...and I can only imagine the flavors!

Belinda @zomppa

I can't get enough of tomatoes. And just when I think I've run out of uses for them ... pastry comes along. Sounds lovely. I have some lemon thyme pleading for a use like this. Thank you for the inspiration!

A Plum By Any Other Name

could you flip this so the crust is on the bottom - like a traditional tarte tartin?


So creative! And I'm so proud of your freezer accomplishment. I know the feeling--it's great! :)


I made a tartin last night... your looks 100x better. :)

Those heirlooms must have been amazing in this!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

wonderful! For some reason we don't really use skillets in the UK. I'm sure I could find one with some effort though. I had one when we lived in Vancouver. Very convenient especially for cornbread : )

adam and Theresa

Oh that looks beautiful. Though I'm not typically homesick (I live overseas), the recipes and photos coming out of this summer's tomato season have me lusting for a little bit of home!


WHAT rye crust is your go to? Looks like you're missing a link.

HS: Linked!


Your tarte is just gorgeous - I love tomatoes and the crust you created is just so flaky. All those delicate and perfect flaky layers in the last pic...mmmm!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

Oh, so beautifully baked tart! Yummy looking tomatoes are peeking from tiny holes:-)

Wish I could bake somethign like this in this summer.


We vowed to do almost no grocery shopping until we had eaten everything in the pantry and freezer. It serves two purposes- save some money and clean out the place. We still keep buying staples like eggs. I am looking forward to a nice bare kitchen!

Dawn @cuter than gluten

Now I know what the tomatoes from my heirloom tomato CSA share are going to be this week. This looks amazing.

I definitely need to start on my freezer...


Absolutely gorgeous. I can't get over the thick, flakiness of the crust on top. Cooked in a cast iron skillet? Even better.


We are making similar things this week! :) I just blogged about a tomato, mustard and cheese tarte I made following the recipe of a friend in France. My garden is full of beautiful tomatoes right now, so I will give your version a try too.


Just looking at this is making my mouth water! I had completely forgotten about tomato tarts, and now my mind is on fire with ideas. Thanks for the inspiration!

la domestique

this looks gorgeous...& the perfect use for our bumper crop of tomatoes! thank you! do you have any suggestions for making his gluten-free? xo

spoon&sailor letterpress

This tart looks so amazing!! I have a whole box full of baby heirloom tomatoes sitting in my fridge and I was trying to figure out how to use them all up at once. This seems like the perfect recipe for it, thanks for sharing! :)

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

Now I know one more thing I want to make when mt backyard tomatoes all start to ripen at once. This looks fantastic!


@spoon&sailor, just go on glutenfreegirl for biscuit or pie crust recipes. You'll find a few. She also had a tart maybe 2-3 summers ago with a cornmeal & parm crust and raw tomatoes that was fabulous (a little salty, I recall).


Your freezer is clean and nearly empty? I need to know your secret!!! I am great with labeling things, and I even have an inventory, but not so great at using things up, especially with all the fresh summer produce - I'm doing a lot more adding than subtracting. Help!!!


Ooo this looks delicious. I've been wanting to make a rustic tomato galette and this might have just given me the push I needed. Yum.


That looks amazing, as does everything you post, lol. I'm so drawn to images of recipes, they just seem to portray the deliciousness in a way words alone cannot. The colors of those tomatoes are inspiring.


Brilliant idea, Heidi -- I wish I'd thought of it! I made my first (pear) tart tatin earlier this year. I've been making David Lebovitz's tomato tart with cheese, which I love, but now I'm going to make this! Thanks.

Sharyn Dimmick

@stephanie, THANK YOU! things are about to get very delicious around here...

spoon&sailor letterpress

mmmmm. just in time for my bumper crop of tomatoes!


Lovely... nothing like a tomato tart in summer.


Wow, that looks delicious. There's a great crust recipe in Sundays at the Moosewood in a recipe for mushroom pie that would be fantastic with this. It has some sour cream in it, and it's so light and flakey.


Simple & fast. Too bad that now (Brazil) are tomatoes so expensive :(

David Polanski

Well I tried it it is delicious I added mushrooms it made it so much better... and that is hard to do cause it is a great recipe..... thanks for sharring....

Sandy Mansel

I am so happy for your freezer, and I totally understand the feeling. I have some freezer pie crust I made a couple of weeks ago, and happy tomatoes on my plants waiting for a purpose. The AC is on full blast today, so this dish will be perfect!


Yes to this idea! I also love the idea of a tomato cobbler this time of year.

aida mollenkamp

This looks gorgeous and delicious. I'd rather eat this than a sweet fruit pie any day. Thank you for this recipe!

Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

What a fabulous idea, perfect time of year for this recipe!


Inspired! Believe it or not I was making a tomato tart tonight...but inspired I made 'tarte tartin aux legumes' AND Ginger even ate the tofu without compliant.


I'll surely try this one....


Simple yet delicious recipe! Love tomatoes, been enjoying them a lot this summer.

simple sustenance

silly simple -- love that :) and oh, how i love an empty fridge/freezer. almost as much as a full one, come fall :) there is so much joy in the putting up and away, and equally as much in the using up and devouring.

love this, in all its late summer simplicity.


I made this for dinner tonight, and it tasted fabulous. However, it was really wet, and I had to drain the liquid as I served it. I did put a bit of fresh Mozarella on top of the tomatoes. Do you think that was the problem?

HS: I don't think so Franny, my guess is that your tomatoes just released more water. I think the trick there is to bake down that liquid for as long as you can - the trick is not letting the crust get too can move everything down in the oven a rack and/or protect the crust with a bit of foil if you need the extra time in the oven on the next go-around. You could also add a tablespoon or so of flour (or cornstarch) to the tomato mixture before baking.


That looks like the perfect getting-close-to-the-end-of-summer dish. I just canned all my market tomatoes this morning - I wish I had saved some to make this dish tonight! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jill @ 42potatoes

Oh dear, oh boy. As a big lover of buttery pastry + tomatoes, this really pushes all the right buttons for me.

Diane, A Broad

This looks fantabulous. And looking at your photo I could almost see oil cured olives in it. Basil. Really, even green beans, zucchini, and lots of things. I love your inspirations!

I hope, oh I hope, that we will get ripe tomatoes in Seattle this year!


Commenter Alex asked about turnint out the tart: This is really a tomato pot pie, not a tatin as you can't flip it -- unless you want a soggy crust covered with a soupy mess of tomatoes...If you want a tatin, carmelize all the veg before putting on the crust so you can cook off the liquid. Or you could even roast the tomatoes in a pie plate until golden and suffiently dried, then tuck the crust around the tomatoes (or cheese then crust), then return it to the oven, Of course, there's nothing wrong with a tomato pot pie -- it just depends whether you want that stewed tomato taste or a carmelized taste.


Rye-crust & baked tomatoes - such a delicious combination!
My good friend is coming over tomorrow, so I'll bake your Tarte Tatin for lunch - Thank you for inspiration & have a lovely weekend :-)


congrats on your achievement! I know how that kind of thing can make everything so much easier in the kitchen! wonderful recipe..looking forward to trying. mmm thanks! gigi.


This was amaaaazing. I had so many cherry tomatoes from the farmer's market that were so sweet - it was perfect. I served it upside down like a traditional tarte tatin and with ice cream. I had frozen the left over cucumber-mint-avocado soup that I made (it's on my blog) in my ice cream maker and this was the perfect vehicle for it. With a drizzle of reduced balsamic. I don't really like gimicky things, but whoa. It put a smile on my face!

HS: Sounds fascinating Emily, and like it would actually work together. :)


What a great use for perfect mid-summer tomatoes! I like the idea of using biscuit crust--or maybe puff pastry?

The Rowdy Chowgirl

This is amazing and so delicious! I added shallots, roasted garlic and gruyere cheese. But my tomatoes put out soooo much juice, there was a lot of liquid in my pan. Is it supposed to be that way? Either way it was really good!


So simple and it sounds perfect for an end-of-summer treat. Yum!

julie @ the semi-reformed nerd

I see that you didn't flip it over... I just made a Tomato Tarte Tatin a couple weeks ago and kind of struggled trying to flip it onto a serving plate. It looks just as gorgeous unflipped!


Another example of how fresh ingredients make the dish... simple and beautiful, can't wait to try it, thanks!

A Bit of Brooklyn

Heidi, you've spiked another one.

I made this for dinner this evening.

Absurdly fantastic. Amazingly simple.

My only change to the recipe (next time) will be to line the bottom portion of the pan with butter and place a second dough crust on it followed with the tomato/onion mixture.

Also, this recipe just begs to have halibut or cod mixed into it.

Ray Russ

I love baking and cooking in my cast iron skillets! Mine are very well seasoned so don't think the tomatoes would hurt. This recipe looks divine. I think I would probably add some grated zucchini as we have lots in the garden.


Made this following your recipe but using a porcelain rectangular baking dish. When it was done, and I cut into the crust, the bottom half of the pan was filled with juice from the cherry tomatos. Help! Louise

HS: HI Louise - I'm getting the sense that the amount of liquid released from the range of tomatoes we're all using is sort of all over the board (and not in a good way)...I typically use dry-farmed tomatoes, not sure if that is the factor? Anyway, I'm going to update the recipe to suggest that people toss the tomato mixture in a bit of flour (or cornstarch) before baking to absorb some of that, particularly if they have the sense that their tomatoes are juicy. Thanks for the feedback Louise!


Made this day before yesterday, heading to the farmer's market now to buy more tomatoes to make again because it was so divine. And the liquid (I used cherry tomatoes), while seemingly overwhelming when I first sliced into it, eventually reduced as we ate. Does anybody have a suggestion for a vegan "egg wash" though? That was my first time making and baking a crust.


A sinking nikola tesla vitality will clutch at a straw

nikola tesla energy

For a more decadent top crust i have used a mixture of mayonnaise and shredded cheese, splash of tabasco and spread over the top. It bakes to a golden crust


The combination of the caramelized onions, sweet tomatoes and rye crust is delicious. I took Heidi's advice and put parchment on top to protect the crust and cooked it a little longer - it was not too liquidy especially after it sits for a bit. This recipe was a big hit at my house. Thanks for the link to Pim's crust, beautiful and fool proof;-)


Oh Heidi, such a winner this is! Made it tonight. Perfect, perfect, perfect! and begging for variations as you suggest. Will teach it this weekend and it's making it's way into a CSA recipe packet right now--with all due credit:)! Thanks again!
And i had not liquid problems. Did use a bit of flour and think my tomatoes were medium juicy.

Katherine Deumling

Stay away if arthritic. I'm a 56 yr old italian and ate/love tomatoes. Once I gave up the nightshades most of the arthitic symptoms dissappeared. That was 6 years ago. I still try them from time to time only to be reminded in less than a few hours why I quit eating them - the pain comes right back.


Amazingly simple but so delicious! Perfect for a summer meal, thanks!


Yes, why should apples get all the upside-down glory? This looks like a delicious dinner, with a crunchy green salad. Nigella Lawson has a caramelized onion version with more of a cheesy scone topping, more of a winter option.


I made the tarte with a cheddar bacon muffin mix on top and used a bit more vinegar, it was a sensation! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Be sparing on the muffin mix, it can overwhelm the fabulous tomatoes.


Enjoyed this. Second time added my own spin. A little sweet chilli sauce to tomatoes. A drizzle of basil oil, a mix of grated Gruyer and Parmesan cheese. Yummy.! Thank you


Recipe looks like one of those great summer into fall transition dishes. Mmm.

fork and whisk

I can't wait to try this recipe... I have a countertop full of heirloom tomatoes!

habitual verve

This turned out beautifully! Heirloom cherry & indigo rose tomatoes from the farmer's market here in NYC, plus I got some sweet corn and onions and tossed that in as well, with some peppers, herbed chevre, and a little harissa paste. Thanks for the ideas! Now I'm on to the yellow runner beans...


I used your rye pie dough recipe and made this into a complete pie. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner last weekend! I don't know why I haven't explored more savory pies that aren't cream or egg based.


I made it and it was delicious. Its late summer on a plate. I was lucky to have some ripe, homegrown tiny tomatoes that explode in the mouth. Thanks :)


I'm jealous on two fronts--your clean freezer, and your perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet. And also, the tart is I guess that makes three.

Alison | a girl defloured

I made this the other day, and WOW!! It was amazing! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. I posted a review with a link to this page over on my blog. Yummmm :)


The Bukhara Restaurant at the Sheraton Delhi has won many awards for its Northern Frontier Indian Cooking. To really have good meal you need a minimum of four paeople but 8 is better so you can get lamb and share it. You eat with your hands. It is expensive by Indian Standards: you must make booking or you have to stand in queue. You know it is popular when you see High Society people waiting outside hoping to get a table. You must take a camaera and they will even let you take photos in the open kitchen area. A real experience as well as great food.


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