Upside Down Tomato Tart

heirloom tomato onion tarte tatin

My recipe for upside-down tomato tart graced the cover of Food Network magazine. Yes, this recipe was tested in the FN kitchen and it is award-winning!

Tart Tatin

A tarte Tatin is basically an upside-down pastry.  According to ‘history’, maybe folklore, two sisters ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France.

One sister was making an apple pie but cooked and burned a little the apples in the skillet. Rather than tossing out, she decided to put the crust on top of the apples that were in the skillet. Then she baked it, flipped it out of the skillet and served.

Tart Tatin Recipes

Well, it was supposedly a hit with guests, and the rest is history. The ‘tarte tatin’ became a baking ‘technique’ that purportedly had been done even earlier some 40 years prior by another patissier by the name of M. A. Carême. Regardless of the clarity of this history, it’s fact that the Hotel Tatin made the sisters’ dish the ‘signature’ hotel dish.

Savory Tart Tatin

Usually, a tart tatin is done with fruit, but I wanted to use this French technique that was ‘discovered’ quite by accident, with something savory. Yes a savory tart tatin. 

Some behind the scenes storytelling always makes for good reading. When I’m in my recipe creation frame of mind, there are lots of things that I consider when coming up with delicious recipes. First of all, is taste, is it something that just flat out tastes good?

Tomato Tart Tatin

Another is ease of preparation. In today’s busy lives of families, Millenials, GenX’rs and even retirees, you want to do ‘home’ cooking but you don’t want to be chained to the kitchen. So quick and uncomplicated makes for the most popular and doable recipes.

Vegetable Tart Tatin

Certainly, THE last thing I want to do is scare you off with a recipe that looks like you need to be a culinary school graduate to do it! Other considerations are can you find the ingredients. I mean we all don’t have Trader Joes, Whole Foods, gourmet shops, grocers, bakeries, meat shops, farmers markets, fish and cheese mongers right around the corner.  

And, along this same line of thinking, I want the ingredients to be affordable for a tomato tart recipe. So making a vegetable tart tatin is doable for most folks. 

Cozy Meals

Cozy meals are the best! And, I’m thinking you might want to serve a protein with this tomato tart. Let’s start with some chicken ideas. 

Aloha Chicken Wings

Mandarin Spicy Chicken Wings

Creole Fried Chicken

Dinner Dish

If you’re not into a chicken dinner dish, then let’s look at some pork ideas. 

Skinny Girl Stuffed Pork Chops

General Tso Tender Pork

Apricot Mustard Pork BBQ

Dinner Entree Ideas

Nothing better than serving beef dinner entree ideas!

Grandma’s Cajun Meatloaf

Pale Ale Beef Pot Roast

Paprika Garlic Beef

Tomato Tarts

Tomatoes are beautiful. And, I know that tomato tarts are stand out beauties. So, of course, as I’m creating recipes, I think about how gorgeous is this recipe going to ‘look’ as in plating when I serve it.

I believe in #prettyeating makes for even more scrumptious food. Finally, but probably not lastly, I want the end product to have a uniqueness to it. I want you to learn something new about cooking, maybe even the history of food. This heirloom tomato onion tarte tatin, or as Food Network renamed it, upside down tomato tart, was conceived with these ideas in mind.

Recipes for Tomato Tarts

If you Google ‘upside down tomato tart’, what do you get? Well, just humor me. Go ahead and try it. I suppose this is one recipe that I’ve created that ranks up there because it’s on the cover of Food Network magazine! 

Cherry Tomato Tart Recipe

The cherry tomato is best for the tomato tart recipe. At least I think so. That’s because cherries tomatoes, especially the heirloom variety with different colors, are simply gorgeous after they’re cooked. All the colors contrast once you’ve flipped this tart and each is showcased like a star! 

Recipe for Tomato Tart Tatin

Shifting now to something else about this recipe for tomato tart tatin. The behind-the-scenes, I think, is even more spectacular. Yes, this recipe is one that I entered into a contest. If you follow me and know me, I love food competitions and cooking contests. So, when I saw that Food Network magazine was looking for ideas from their readers for the cover of their Fall 2016 September magazine, I thought what more beautiful to grace the cover of this insanely popular magazine than this stunning heirloom tomato onion tarte tatin! Food Network had never invited readers to be ‘cover stars’ and I jumped at the chance to throw my idea into the ring.

Recipe for Tart Tatin

From there, I went about creating a new recipe for tart tatin, a twist on something unique like the tarte tatin using savory flair. I adhered to all the aforementioned points about what I consider in recipe development. And, this delicious recipe was born! Sometimes when you enter contests, you just have a ‘feeling’ and I had that ‘feeling’ after I photographed this recipe. Then when I had several people taste it, and, it got rave reviews, well, I just felt even more confident that this could be a winner. Amazingly, it was!!

upside down tomato tart

The Food Network Recipes

When I got my magazine, I was traveling, and on a flight connection, I walked into a couple of airport shops. I mean talk about the exhilaration I felt when I looked at the rack of magazines, lots of cooking magazines, and here I see Food Network with my recipe gracing the cover! Yes, a ‘cover star’ is born! Yes, from tomatoes! And, I couldn’t have been more thrilled and exhilarated. I wanted to go out into the crowded busy terminal, throw my arms in the air, shout at the top of my lungs, ‘Yes!! I’m a cover star!!’

Food Magazine

Reading Maile Carpenter’s Editor’s Letter was even more spine tingling. As a food magazine editor, she wrote about this being the first time ever that FN had considered using a reader’s recipe idea for the cover. She described the many entries and the grueling due diligence that was done with the top ten, then down to the top four, then the final decision after mocking up magazine covers with the four finalists.

Food Network Inspirations

Looking at the three runners up just makes my head swim. Yes, we were all Food Network inspirations. Recipes and photos that could grace any magazine cover, yes, they were that stunning, sexxxy, and spectacular! Finally, a group of magazine executives, including Maile’s own boss, Ellen Levine, made the decision. They believed the tomato tart was a “real winner”!

Food Network Kitchen Recipes

Yes, this is my story. My foodie peeps, dreams do come true. Food network kitchen recipes come from homecooks like me. Dreams have no expiration date. You just have to put yourself out there.

Life Goals

Take a chance. Go the edge and look at the possibilities. Don’t be afraid. Don’t let all that mindful self-doubt and self-talk hold you back. You just might find huge surprises awaiting you if you only take that step into the unknown. Thanks for listening to all my chatter. Here’s my recipe. Pick up a copy of the magazine and see what might have been tweaked or changed in the recipe from their professional chefs in the Food Network kitchen. You can see my photos that I took. Then the magazine has their professional photographer’s photos. I thought I was seeing double! Just know that when you make this dish, it’s one cover star and it’s sure to make your tastebuds dance!

xoxox ~peace & namaste~ ally
upside down tomato tart

upside down tomato tart

Upside Down Tomato Tart

Yield: 4 servings

My recipe for upside down tomato tart graced the cover of Food Network magazine. Yes, this recipe was tested in the FN kitchen and it is award-winning!


  • Preheat oven to 400 then reduce to 375
  • 4 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, slice larger ones in half lengthwise
  • ½ large sweet onion, sliced thinly into half-moon pieces
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • 4 Tbl. bacon drippings, if congealed microwave on high for 8-10 seconds to make liquid based
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • ½ cup asiago cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 pieces puff pastry, room temperature, approximately 3x9 lengths, pinched together at the 9” seams making one large piece (when together you have a 9" square piece)
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup fresh sweet basil, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream


In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, lemon pepper, pepper, chili flakes, and bacon drippings. Toss and blend. Spread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Roast in a preheated 400 oven for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Mix together the tomato/onion mixture, lemon juice and asiago. Put in a 8-9” well-seasoned cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray (bottom and sides). Take your fingers and make about a ½” ‘moat’ around the mixture leaving room to tuck the pastry around.

Place the puff pastry sheet on top. Roll (inward into the skillet) excess pastry and tuck around the tomato/onion mixture forming a ‘dome’.

Place the skillet on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 35-40 minutes or flaky and golden brown. Remove and let it cool about 5 minutes.

Place a larger round plate or platter on top and flip over. Sprinkle on the fresh basil. Cool another 5-7 minutes, slice and serve with a dollop of sour cream.


Perfect for breakfast with a steamed sunny side egg on top each slice.

Can be eaten warm or room temperature. Equally as deeelish!

The heirloom cherry tomatoes add a special flair, but you could use all red cherry tomatoes.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

upside down tomato tart


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  1. This is a terrific recipe. My question is: I want to serve it tomorrow for a lunch – but – I want to make and bake it tonight so I don’t have to cook anything tomorrow. Is there a way to lightly heat it up? How do I leave it over night – I’m thinking plastic and at room temp. Please advise. I do not have a microwave btw.
    I also subbed onions and made an upside down onion tart – also delish. Thank you. Chandler

    1. Hi, Chandler, yes, it’s a fabulous recipe, and vetted by Food Network! I’m telling you, my first inclination is to bake it the day you serve it. Why? Well, there’s just no way to maintain the crispy crunchy of the crust w/a reheating process. At least that’s my humble opinion. So, IF you can break yourself away, preheat your oven, set your timer, and do the day, you’ll have the BEST results. If not, then I’d leave on the kitchen counter top (don’t flip yet, leave it crust side up), cover with a clean dish towel. On the day you’re serving, preheat your oven to 275, put it back in for say 15 to 20 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend a microwave. That tends to make the crust more taffy like and chewy, which you don’t want. You want crispy crunchy layers of yum! Hope that helps, Chandler, and please please, let me know what you did! xoxx ally

  2. Wendy Sauvageau says:

    Looks FANTASTIC! And congratulations! I have a question. I this recipe, you in use bacon grease. Have you any suggestions for a vegetarian alternative? Like EVOO? Maybe infused EVOO?

    1. Sure, Wendy! You can sub EVOO or avocado oil. It’s a lovely tomato upside tart and perfect when summer tomatoes are abundant. I love the heirloom small ones, but I’m going to make with large heirlooms too sliced thinly. Enjoy, luv, and thanks soooooooooooo much for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger! xox ally

  3. YEEHAW and congratulations again, Miss Ally! I’ve made your upsidedown tomato tart twice to RAVE reviews — once with puff pastry (as specified) and once with “my” pie crust during a desperate moment (lol!) Both were off the charts INCREDIBLE! Your knack for flavor continues to amaze me, xo. No need to print off your recipe this time — I still have the FN cover issue! 🙂

    1. Kimmeee! You always make my recipe creations BETTER! Love the idea of using a pie crust. I’m so gonna try that. Of course, yours is homemade…and, I think I’ll use a refrigerated roll up…you know me, the rogue baker. Can’t wait to try using your version! xox Hugs~ ally

    1. Toni! Thank you, luv…I was kinda blown away too! xo ~ally

  4. Congratulations on the feature! So exciting! Your upside down tomato tart is beautiful!

    1. Lindsay! THANK YOU! Yes, I was quite astonished seeing it on the cover of Food Network Magazine! And, it is a beautiful recipe…just get the flippin’ over down pat and you’re good to go! Thanks lux! xo ~ally

  5. Carolyn Ingram says:

    This looks divine!

    1. Carolyn!! Thank you, luv…I must say it’s quite deeelish!! xo

    1. Liren! Thanks so much…yes, it’s a new twist on a tomato pie or pizza! Thanks for visiting, luv! xo ~ally

    1. Thanks, Megan! It’s a conversational piece for sure!! xo ~ally

    1. Kylee! Thank you! I was totally thrilled about it as you can imagine! It’s also verreeeee tasty!! xo ~ally

    1. Jocelyn! Thank you, darlin…it’s quite a nice presentation. And, different! Thanks for swinging by…I always love seeing your beautiful face!! xo ~ally

  6. I remember when I saw this cover of Food Network Magazine!! So happy for you!! I can see why they went crazy for this tart—it’s the perfect way to showcase summer tomatoes. xo

    1. Liz! First of all, thanks for taking the time to come back and leave your delightful and sweet comment! Yes, this tart is perfect for the summer and way into the Fall! Thanks, luv! xoo

  7. Morgan OConnor says:

    Hi! I made this over the weekend and I had a pan full of tomato liquid, which of course ruined the puff pastry. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi, Morgan!

      First of all, thanks for making it and finding it here on my website. I’m not sure what you may have done. When you say it ruined the puff pastry, what do you mean? Here’s a few suggestions for another try if you want to give it a whirl. Slice all your cherry tomatoes into lengthwise halves then gently pat out some of the excess liquid with paper towels. When mix together the tomato/onion mixture, lemon juice and asiago, add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour (not heaping ones, exact measure). Blend this into the mixture. Do the rest of the recipe as is. Make sure your skillet (preferably cast iron) is well greased around the rim for easy release of your dough. Let me know, luv, how this works for you. You do want some ‘juice’ of course just for the tastiness. Alrighty, will wait to hear back from you!! xoxo ~ally

    1. Thank you darlin! I must say it’s really good! ??

    1. Kristen! Thank you!! It makes me happy that you took time to read and then come and let me know! ??

  8. Of course you won!! You are a star and an inspiration, Ally! The thing I love most about summer – is succulent, sweet homegrown tomatoes. It’s the only reason I started a garden after all those years of toil when we were kids. I’ve made heirloom tomato tarts – now I’m going to have to make a tarte tatin 🙂

    1. Priscilla! You are so generous w/your words. Thank you! I’m jealous b/c in CA you have summertime all year long and get those beautiful ‘maters. But, growing your own is even more special. And, those heirlooms are just divine. Like caviar to me! Thank you, luv, I’m, of course, thrilled to have this honor w/FN magazine. My 15 minutes is quickly coming to an end 🙁 Oh, well, cheers to the 15!! Hugs & Love xoxo ~ally

  9. Ally, it’s no surprise (to me) that you were singled out by Food Network… your tomato tarte tatin looks spectacular! I’ve always wanted to make the classic “apple” version — why not a savory version with summer’s bounty, as conceived by YOU?! (So, SO proud o’ you!) Your world (and imagination and kitchen) continues to rock mine. Goodness, girl, congrats… xo! WOW.

    1. Kim…you know how much I love you…thank you!! Yes, you must do this recipe then do it the traditional way w/apples. I’ve done the apple, and it maaahhhhhvelous, luv! W/the summer’s bounty, why not change up a standard ‘tomato pie’! Thank you for all your support. It’s our world of crazy cooking and sharing w/those we love. xoxo ~ally

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