30 September 2011

Tomato Tart Tatin to Honour Game Changer Dorothy Hamilton

tomato tart tatin for 50 women game changers

For months now a growing group of bloggers have been cooking from Gourmet Live's list of 50 Women Game Changers. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. Finally after many searches I have hit a roadblock and come across a woman on the list for whom I could find no recipes. Perhaps the rest of the group had better luck. So to honour #17 on the list of Game Changers I decided to make a French-inspired dish which is a twist on a classic Apple Tatin using heirloom tomatoes, caramelized onions and goat cheese. This dish is very simple to make, yet is burnished and golden and reeking of the last glimpses of summer.

Why would I choose a French dish to honour Dorothy Hamilton? She is the founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center which includes the world-renowned French Culinary Institute whose graduates include many prominent chefs. She is the creator and host of Chef's Story, a 26-part series on television and the author of the companion book, Chef's Story. Her textbook for the school, The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine. received the James Beard Foundation award in 2008. Her book on culinary careers Love What You Do and the school's Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry were published recently. Her distinguished career in vocational education and her outstanding reputation for creating innovative programs in gastronomy have earned her numerous awards and even a knighting. Last but not least all of her accomplishments have earned her the number 17 on the list of Game Changers as well as this tomato tart tatin baked in her honour.

One of my favourite well-travelled bloggers Mary of One Perfect Bite invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. Gourmet Live brought out a list of the 50 most influential women in food...Fifty women game changers. Some are chefs, some are food writers, and some are women who are passionate about the creative process. You could certainly add or detract women from this list, but no matter what these women have all influenced us in one way or another. Being a woman and passionate about food myself I wanted to explore and join Mary on this journey and not only learn from the masters but recreate some of their dishes to better understand what has shaped and molded them into who they are today. In doing so I have learned more about myself, and have learned more than a few new recipes and techniques.

For 50 weeks we will experiment with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list". Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it will be an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters. Follow us on this journey while we take an in depth exploration of these women's lives and what has made them who they are. My cohorts for this adventure can be found below. If you would like to join in  please contact Mary. This is an informal event and you have the flexibility to follow along when you can. We will be posting every Friday.

What have we been up to for the 17th Game Changer......

Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Tomato Tart Tatin
Susan of The Spice Garden  - Chicken Paella
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed  - Sizzling Shrimp Provencal
Heather of Girlichef  - Caramelized Fruit with Rosemary
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living  - Thai Chicken Thighs with Garlic Lime
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me - Sizzling Shrimp Provencal
Sue of View from The Great IslandRoasted Tilapia with Vegetables en Papillote
Linda of There and Back Again - French Onion Soup and Soda Bread from Jacques Pepin.
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Artichoke, Cauliflower and Mushroom Barigoule
Kathleen of Gonna Want Seconds - Sizzling Shrimp Provencal.
Nancy of Picadillo - Pan-Roasted Salmon with Soy-Ginger Glaze

Back to the Future....

Over four years of blogging I have found many wonderful recipes to share on these pages. Some from my own kitchen, some from your creative blogs and web sites, and some from well known celebrities and chefs. I have been feeling a little nostalgic and was browsing these very pages just the other day, creeping back to the very beginning in 2006 when More Than Burnt Toast was in it's infancy and no more than "knee high to a grasshopper". We all have those stellar recipes from when we first started when we were lucky enough to find one comment and have maybe one reader; in my case even before I was taking photos of the dishes I prepared. My other motivation for reconnecting with the past is to create uniform formatting on this blog and this is a fun way for me to revisit past posts.

So here are a couple of flashback recipes from the very first baby steps here at MTBT with...

**Tomato Tart Tatin**
loosely adapted from Diana Henry

For the onions
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large red onions, very finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
For the tarte
  • 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 750g (1lb 10oz) vine-ripened tomatoes, halved horizontally
  • 400g (14oz) puff pastry
To serve
  • crumbled goat's cheese or Parmesan shavings (optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
1. First prepare the onions. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying-pan and saut̩ them with some salt over a medium heat until soft and darkening in colour Рif they aren't that sweet add the sugar to help them caramelise. Add the thyme and garlic and continue to cook for a further five minutes or so. Set aside.

2. I make my tarte tatins in a 25cm (10in) heavy-bottomed shallow cast-iron pan (a Le Creuset), but a frying-pan with an ovenproof handle is also fine. To the pan add the vinegar and butter (it will hiss and spit). Stir gently to mix. Put the tomato halves all over the base of the pan cut-side down, season and spoon on the onions.

3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a circle about 1.5cm (½in) bigger than the base of the pan. Chill it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then lay it on top of the onions, tucking it in all around the outside. Put in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook for 30 minutes. The pastry will rise but just open the oven and gently press it down with a wooden spoon. When the time is up, remove the tart from the oven and leave for about four minutes, then invert on to a large plate, giving it a good shake. If the tomatoes don't turn out, just gently prise off each one with a palette knife and put it back on the tart.

4. If you want to add cheese do so now, and drizzle with olive oil. Some black pepper is good, too. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. beautiful and so appetizing!



  2. This sounds and looks so good...what a wonderful recipe in her honor. Mmmmm....

  3. So summery! The perfect dish to hold on to these last few warm days. And congrats all on your blog's success. You deserve it! I love your passion, and you are SO nice to everybody.

  4. Love a tomato tart and a what a lovely idea to honor the Game Changers....inspirational!

  5. What a great idea to use tomatoes in a tart tatin Val. I have to confess this is one of the ladies I knew the least about. I am really enjoying this series.

  6. Love your Tomato Tart look amazing!! and love your blue plates! gloria

  7. I'm sad for your roadblock, but happy about the gorgeous dish you chose!

  8. I kept reading that as Dorothy Hamil and I thought, "What does a skater have to do with food?" :-)

    Lovely tart. I think I want to serve this at my next dinner party as an appetizer!

  9. Puff pastry makes things so much simpler....you can concentrate on all the goodies that go in it or on top of it! :)
    Love this tomato tatin, Val. Nothing tastier that caramelized onions with tomatoes.

  10. It looks delicious. Definitely a must try!

  11. I've never heard of Ms Hamilton - does that make me a bad foodie?

    However I definitely like this recipe.

  12. This looks like the perfect little pair it with a glass of wine light supper.

  13. A smart and fitting tribute. :) Summer's tomatoes have been put to a great use.

  14. I've always wanted to make a tarte tatin, and this one exemplifies why. It looks so delicious!

  15. What a lovely Tomato Tart Tatin to honor Dorothy Hamilton by!

  16. This sounds so good. I like the combination of ingredients and it's simple prepare. What else could you ask for?

  17. What a great way to use up some of the last summer tomatoes :)

  18. I do love a good tart tatin and this looks fabulous. I have tomatoes by the bucket full at the moment...

  19. Wonderful post, Val. This is a perfect recipe for the luscious heirloom tomatoes that won't be around much longer.

  20. This does look wonderful indeed. (Anything with tomatoes does to me!) I have to admit, this is one Game Changer I was unfamiliar with. Glad to have learned something!

  21. oh boy I am a lover of all great things in a tomato pie/tart form.
    I need to try this.

  22. What a lovely and easy way to highlight tomatoes before they go out of season (sniff sniff).

  23. I have some of the last tomatoes of the season ripening on my kitchen counter now...this sounds like a perfect use for them! I love tomato tarts.

  24. Mmm, I do love savoury tartes tatin - and tomatoes make a particularly good one! Delicious post :)

  25. Val you make everything look so appetizing.

  26. This might be the most beautiful tomato tart I've ever seen Val. Wow.


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