Creating an elegant and memorable dish shouldn’t have to be complicated or require a lot of ingredients. Onion Tarte Tatin is a show stopping dish that will turn your evening into an event.
Some dishes set a mood, such as my Elegant Apricot Galette with Almond Cream. This savory tart is the perfect companion to your steak night at home, an ideal dish to serve with cocktails, and a great addition to any brunch. It’s showstopping drama with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
This glorious Onion Tarte Tatin comes together with just six easily accessible ingredients. You will have your friends and family saying ooh lala with this French classic.
- Onion – I used a sweet strawberry onion from Parksdale Market. This recipe is for two people so any large, sweet onion will work.
- Butter – Better really does make everything better. Not only will this help cook the onion and add a layer of richness, it will help prevent everything from sticking to the pan so you have that total wow reveal when you flip this onto a plate.
- Honey – This helps caramelize the onion as well as accent the onion’s natural sweetness.
- Balsamic vinegar – The combination of honey and balsamic vinegar creates what the Italians call agrodolce, that irresistible sweet and sour flavor. Balsamic also has its own natural sweetness which pairs well with the onion.
- Thyme – The fresh and lemony flavor of thyme offers up an herbaceous note.
- Puff Pastry – This is one of my favorite things to always have on hand. Buttery and flaky, you can find this in the frozen foods section of your local grocery store.
- Salt – All you need is a pinch of salt to highlight all of the flavors.
How to Make Onion Tarte Tatin
Just like this gorgeous pastry requires only a few ingredients, it also only requires a few steps. In less than 45 minutes you will be sinking your fork into this decadent and flaky delight.
Time needed: 45 minutes
Savory, sweet, and stunning, this French inspired creation is the definition of effortless elegance.
- Butter Makes Everything Better
Heat your cast iron skillet over low heat and melt your butter. Add your onion to the pan and allow it to begin to caramelize, flipping it so both sides can begin to soften and obtain a little color.
- Season it Up
Add your honey, balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt, and thyme. Allow the onion to cook for a few more minutes until softened, continuing to flip, and then remove from the heat.
- In Crust We Trust
Lay your puff pastry over the top of the onion and press down to fully encase the onion. Use a fork to pierce the top, allowing the steam to escape.
- Bake it Up
Bake the tarte tatin for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.
- The Grand Reveal
Allow the Onion Tarte Tatin to cool down for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the top of it and flip to invert it onto the plate. Garnish with extra thyme if desired.
While this pastry requires minimal ingredients, it is easily adaptable to what you may already have on hand.
Puff Pastry – No puff pastry? No problem! This same recipe can also be made with your favorite store-bought pie crust. Simply roll it out and cut it to size and proceed with the recipe the same.
Variations on Onion Tarte Tatin
With just a twist of ingredients, you can customize this dish to your favorite flavors as well as how you plan on serving it.
- Spicy – Swap the regular honey for your favorite hot honey for a little kick.
- Type of Onion – I used a single large onion for this but you can use shallots or make this in a larger pan with multiple onions to serve more than two people.
Equipment for Onion Tarte Tatin
The only special equipment required for this dish is a cast iron skillet. For this recipe I used a 6″ skillet for a single large onion. However, you can make a larger version of this with more onions and utilize a different size skillet.
Top Tip for Onion Tarte Tatin
Onions have a lot of natural sugar in them which allows them to caramelize. Don’t rush the process. When you begin the cooking process of this recipe on the stovetop, keep the heat on low. This will allow the onion to soften and the sugars to come out slowly and not burn.
Onion Tarte Tatin
- 1 6" cast iron skillet
- 1 large onion, ends removed and peeled
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
- fresh thyme
- 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a 6" cast iron skillet on low. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Add your onion. Allow the first side to cook for several minutes and begin to caramelize and soften. Flip and cook the second side for several minutes.
- Add your honey, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and pinch of salt. Continue to cook both sides for several more minutes allowing the onion to soften and caramelize some more.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Place a piece of puff pastry cut to the size of the skillet over the top of the onion. Press down and gently crimp the edges.
- Use a fork to poke several holes in the top of the puff pastry to create vents for the steam to release.
- Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Place a plate over the top of the skillet and flip it upside down, inverting the Onion Tarte Tatin onto the plate.
- Garnish with extra thyme leaves if desired.