The shallots give a sweet, young flavour to this classic French tart, which uses shop bought pastry for speed. Serve with green salad for a chic starter.


  • 36 shallots, peeled

  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 115g (4oz) unsalted butter

  • vegetable stock to cover

  • 1 packet ready rolled puff pastry

  • 55g (2oz) caster sugar

  • 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • salt and pepper

  • To serve

  • mixed leaf salad


  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

  • 2.

    Pan-fry the shallots and garlic cloves in half of the butter until golden all over.

  • 3.

    Add in the stock and simmer until the shallots are tender but still whole.

  • 4.

    Drain the shallots and garlic and leave to cool.

  • 5.

    Cut the pastry into a 25cm circle.

  • 6.

    Spread the remaining butter over the base of a 23cm ovenproof frying pan.

  • 7.

    Sprinkle with sugar.

  • 8.

    Place the pan over a medium heat and allow the sugar and butter to start to caramelise.

  • 9.

    Place the shallots and garlic carefully in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

  • 10.

    Top with the pastry, pushing the edges of the circle down the inside of the pan.

  • 11.

    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden.

  • 12.

    Place a plate over the tarte and carefully invert – be careful as hot butter and sugar can cause a nasty burn.

  • 13.

    Serve with a leaf salad.

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