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Calum Franklin's red onion and carrot tarte tatin

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

I am a terrible pie and pastry cook. Baking is something you need to practice regularly to become skilled, and I have the unfortunate habit of eating the food I make. So getting good at pies and cakes would result in my weighing 300 pounds. I did however find a pie that is not only a main course, but filled with vegetables, and involves puff pastry. I used store bought puff pastry, which makes the overall preparation effortless.

This was insanely delicious and I can confirm it is really, really easy to make. Great addition to your Thanksgiving table for those pesky vegetarians. It really does come out like this picture, so it's pretty, too.

This recipe comes from Calum Franklin, who has a book called The Pie Room: 80 achievable and show-stopping pies and sides for pie lovers everywhere. I noted with some amusement the word "achievable" when I saw the pastry skills on display in Calum's pie-porn on Instagram:

Seriously, Calum, do you really think that your pies are "achievable" for someone who recently tried to make duck en croute and took this out of the oven?

Playboi, you've got some work ahead of you.


3 red onions

4 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole blanched hazelnuts (I did not have any hazelnuts, and used walnuts, and it turned out great! Experiment with the nutmeat of your choice)

2 tbsps butter

2 tsps sugar

2 tsps balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of tarragon leaves picked and placed in iced water

1 package frozen pre-made puff pastry, thawed in the fridge (if you are really a masochist you can make your own puff pastry, or just buy the Pepperidge Farm brand. I tried a fancy import French kind, and actually like the P-Farm pastry better.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  2. Peel the onions and cut them in half through the roots so they stay intact, then cut each half again, into four wedges.

  3. Place the carrot chunks and onion wedges on a baking sheet and toss with the vegetable oil and salt. Place the tray in the preheated oven and roast the vegetables for 30 minutes. Add nuts to the tray and roast for another five minutes.

  4. In a heavy ovenproof skillet, warm the butter, sugar and balsamic vinegar until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and continue cooking until it has thickened. Add the roasted vegetables and nuts to the pan, toss well in the mixture and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough into a circle large enough to cover the skillet.

  6. Bunch the vegetables and nuts together so there is a small gap around the edge of the pan and then cover with the pastry, tucking it slightly under around the edge. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.

  7. Place the skillet in the hot oven and bake the tarte tatin for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Remove the pan from the oven.

  8. Place a large flat plate over the top of the pan and then quickly flip it over. Pat tarragon leaves dry and sprinkle them on top of the vegetables.

  9. Serve pie while warm.

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