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Prep 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Serves 4

We’ve never encountered a tarte tatin we don’t like. What’s not to like. Puff pastry, butter, a hint of sugar. Hmmm. Mostly of course they’re made with fruit for dessert. But root veggies are a brilliant alternative to turn this French classic into a gorgeous savoury meal.

Leeks work, so too do beetroot. But we decided baby pickling onions would be perfect to use with our Cape Herb & Spice Mediterranean Roasts Rub. A hint of vinegar cuts the sugary, buttery richness, making for a sweet and sour delight. Top it with micro leaves or rocket and crumble over blue cheese or chevin.


  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp ordinary brown grape vinegar (red or white wine vinegar also works)
  • Small white onions, peeled and halved
  • Shop-bought puff pastry
  • Micro herbs or rocket, to serve
  • Blue cheese or soft goat’s cheese (chevin), to serve


Place the sugar in a non-stick frying pan with a metal handle (i.e. an oven-safe frying pan). Place on a very low heat to allow the sugar to melt. (This is not a lot of sugar and will burn quickly, so the heat needs to be as low as possible.) Once melted, add the butter and swirl around, then add the vinegar. If it looks like it’s splitting, don’t worry, simply place it back on the heat for a few seconds to bubble up and it will come together again. Place the onions cut-side down in the caramel. Dust with Cape Herb & Spice Mediterranean Roasts Rub. Cut the pastry to a circle the same size as the frying pan and cover the onions. Crimp the edges prettily and make two cuts in the top to allow for escaping steam.

Bake in a preheated oven of 180-200 ºC (check for the correct temperature as indicated on the packaging of the particular puff pastry you use) until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the tarte tatin to stand for a minute. Place a large serving plate over the frying pan (use oven gloves!) and gently turn it over so the tarte tatin pops out. Garnish and tuck in - yum! 

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at