Wild Mushroom Tarte Tatin

Hey, why not give Tarte Tatin a savory twist and serve it as an appetizer instead of dessert?

I’m sure you all know the legend behind Tarte Tatin. The French apple pie that fell upside down on the kitchen floor – picked up by the Tatin sisters and served to unsuspecting guests who loved it so much it became a classic of French cookery. Okay, it was a long long time ago and you better believe they kept the floors really clean back then.

To think this massively popular dessert was invented as a result of let’s say – un croche pied – is quite refreshing compared to the soulless inventions coming out of some of today’s kitchen labs. I can’t help but imagining this moment so full of joyous inadvertent creation, like wind through an open window. But maybe that’s just me.This wild mushroom Tarte Tatin took a sharp turn away from tradition and went North instead – straight from sweet to savory on tastebuds Superhighway. And the ride was surprisingly smooth. The caramel is still there but in small dose and deglazed with sherry vinegar to give it the right touch of acidity. The rest is a mixture of mushrooms sauteed with garlic and thyme, a shallot confit spiked with anchovies, and good old puff pastry. I kept the recipe simple and skipped the step of dropping the tart on the kitchen floor. Of course it’s optional and even recommended if you have a well-seasoned floor.

Here’s what you do. Sautee the sliced mushrooms in olive oil. I used a combination of creminis, maitake, chanterelles and a few white mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan too much. When they start to caramelize, add some chopped garlic and thyme. Sautee for another 30 seconds and set aside.


Meanwhile, warm some olive oil in another skillet and add 5 finely sliced shallots. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and cook over medium heat until very soft. 10 to 15 minutes. Add 3 chopped anchovies and a tablespoon of chopped thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes and set aside. Deglaze the skillet with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, swirl it around and pour it over the mushrooms.

Make the caramel by combining 3 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar caramelizes and turns a deep amber color, add 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar. Pour immediately into four 4 – ounces ramequins. Let it cool for 1 minute. Place the cooled mushrooms over the sherry caramel, about 2/3 up the sides. Pack it in.

Top each ramequin with the shallot confit. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into four circles about the size of the opening of the ramequins. Press a little to even out the layers. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Cool 1 or 2 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Best served at room temperature with a salad and some shaved parmegiano reggiano. Enjoy as an appetizer or as a garnish for let’s say – a duck confit.

Croche-pied [pyay] is French for ‘trip somebody up’, but croche-pied sounds so much better. Haha.

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  • Elle

    mmmm, could I have one for breakfast, please? Sadly, I’m the only mushroom lover in the house, so I rarely (make that never) use them in anything. But I can look longingly at yours. They look amazing!

    And hey, obviously the Tatin sisters were well aware of the five second rule. 😉

  • Ann

    Ooh… so adorable and tasty-looking! But if you’d left them in the ramekins you could have submitted them to the mini pot pie event! :-)

  • cakebrain

    That’s an amazing combination! I’m a sucker for anything with with puff pastry too. Your photographs are drool-worthy! :p ‘smack’

  • Emiline

    I like it! This is a good little invention you’ve come up with. I love dishes with sweet and savory combos.
    I would dump mine on my floor, though. I think the extra seasoning would help improve the flavor…coffee grounds…bread crumbs…peppercorns

  • Cynthia

    I like it too! I wish I could spend sometime watching you in the kitchen.

  • katskitchen

    Looks good! You make me want to be more creative myself and make up new dishes like these…Yum!!

  • elay

    Happy easter! this blog always makes me hungry. i remembered the murder in the kitchen pics…poor eggs. they didn’t make it to easter =)

  • AzAzura

    I think mushroom + thyme are great combination to start with.secondly , great pictures as usual (I’m starting to get jealous here).I will try this , well maybe I put this on hold until you come visit and I will make one for you .

  • Function of Time

    Ummm, since these are in small ramikins is it fair to have “tarte” in the title still? I’m just sayin’.

  • glamah16

    Nice savory variation. I love mushrooms anyway I can get them.

  • Zen Chef

    Elle.. sure, it works for breakfast too with a cup of black coffee. :-)

    Ann… let’s pretend they are still in the ramequins! okay? haha

    Thanks a lot Cakebrain! :-)

    haha. Emiline.. if your kitchen floor is well-seasoned, it will add flavor! :-)

    Cynthia. I might charge a fee for that. haha.

    Katskitchen.. hey, anything goes in the kitchen! Have fun.

    Elay! Happy Easter too my dear. There’s a whole mystery around eggs disappearing in my kitchen.. still trying to solve it. :-)

    Azura.. Are you trying to hire me to work in your Cafe? haha.

    Colleen… mmmm… c’est une question d’ethique! haha.

    Thanks Glamah.. I think it makes a nice appetizer. A little different you know.

  • Manggy

    That is literally one of the most delicious things I have set my eyes on, ever. MUST… MAKE… FOR… NEXT… PARTY…. (or just an ordinary day, heh heh :)

  • Kevin

    These look and sound so amazing!! A mushroom tatin is a great idea. Bookmarked to try.

  • aria

    ohhh yesh pleeez i can has!! those look delicilise my kookoobananas husband no like mushrooms, can you believe THAT!?

    this loosk delish!!

  • cakewardrobe

    UMM can I hire you for one night please :)

  • Heather

    You fancy Frenchy – that’s a pot pie!

    I love the sinister mind that decorated fear and terror onto eggs.

  • foodhuntress79

    I am curious about the Tatin sisters- didn’t know this. Picked up from the floor and served… clever, clever!

    Mushrooms. I love.

  • Jack

    Oh. My. God. That looks great. This is going on my “Gotta Try That” list!

  • Nina’s Kitchen (Nina Timm)

    What a great idea… I love mushrooms. Ths for sharing.

  • Peter M

    Zen, I like the idea of a savory tarte tatin, good show.

  • Amelia from Z Tasty Life

    I JUST bought some wild mushroom and was thinking savory tatin…so I landed here after a google search. Niiiice!!! very nice.

  • http://www.marblepolishingmiami.com/ Marble Clean

    Looks delicious!

  • Patricia Keeler Jean

    Love the umami of anchovies! How many oz of mushrooms did you put into this- not coming up properly in my browser. Sadly photos no longer there…:(