I was inspired to make this carrot tarte tatin after seeing a recipe for it in Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook: My Little French Kitchen. I featured her roast red wine chicken recipe last week along with a fabulous 4 book giveaway. If you haven’t yet entered to win a copy of the book (South Africa only) – please click on over and enter.

I was also keen to make this because one of my favourite recipes from last year was a roasted beetroot and onion tarte tatin. This dish with balsamic caramel and thyme is utterly delicious and makes a perfect side dish for any meat. It’s also perfect on its own with whipped goats cheese, goats cheese pecorino or Parmesan cheese shavings. I simply love the savoury and sweet and the crunchiness of the buttery flaky pastry. All round, it just elevates the humblest of vegetables to a whole new level of awesomeness. 

I recently discovered David Chang’s method of cooking carrots in carrot juice , so I employed some of that technique when making this tatin. I left out the kombu and simply added about 3/4 of a cup of freshly squeezed carrot juice about halfway through the sautéing of the carrots phase. This is entirely optional. I think steam roast the carrots (with or without carrot juice) as I have seen in this amazing recipe could also work really well. I think the cumin would work wonderfully with the honey too.

I prefer making my tatins in an ovenproof frying pan so that everything is held together. In the past, I have made them in a loose bottom tart dish and all the caramel leaks out. I like the dish to be completely sealed. The particular pan I have, which is a 24cm stainless steel frying pan is perfect and is the ideal width for an already rolled 250g square of Woolworths All-butter puff pastry.



Carrot tarte tatin

  • Author: Sam LInsell


  • 810 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 23T butter
  • 34 sprigs of thyme
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed carrot juice
  • 2T runny honey
  • 1T red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 250g puff pastry


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F and scrub or peel the carrots and cut them in half
  2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and as it bubbles add the carrots and thyme and toss to coat. You want to cook them for about 15 minutes. About half way through – add the carrot juice if you are using this. Put a lid on the pan and watch closely ensuring that they don’t burn, toss around every now and again. Just before they are done, add the vinegar and sat and pepper and season well. Toss around to coat.
  3. Drizzle the honey over the bottom of the ration pan / dish and swirl to coat.
  4. Arrange the carrots across the surface of the pan, cut side facing down, season well with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Place the pastry over the carrots and tuck the edges in.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the puff pastry is golden.
  7. Place a large serving plate over the pan and flip the tartan out.
  8. Serve warm as a side dish or on its on as with a salad.

PS ~The leftovers were wonderful served cold. I smeared goats cheese on a few small slices which balanced out the sweetness and were delicious. You could also blend goats cheese with whipped cream and dollop this on when the tart is still warm.

What other vegetables have you used to make a savoury tarte tatin?


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  1. Oh Sam, I gasped when I first saw this, it is so beautiful. I am making this tonight. Thanks!

  2. Lovely to see your pretty version of the carrot tatin here! I was lucky enough to interview and cook with Rachel Khoo last week and when I got home and read her book, this recipe immediately stood out. I love your idea of combining it with goat cheese (it makes everything better in my opinion). Gonna try this soon!

  3. This is an amazing dessert! I’m really impressed, looks like straight out from a super fancy french restaurant! 🙂
    You are so talented, I love your blog, really!

  4. Sam

    Hi Gemma, thanks for the kind words :-)) – the carrot tartin, although has some sweetness in it is not a dessert by would be a fab side dish for meat or on its own as a savoury vegetarian main

  5. Sam

    HI Denise. Thank you. That must have been quite fun cooking with Rachel 🙂

  6. ableapril

    Ingredients say orange juice but instructions say carrot juice.

  7. Sam

    Hi, should be carrot juice – I must have drifted off when I typed that, sorry 🙂

  8. ableapril

    No worries! One more question though: 7. Place a large serving plate over the pan and flu the tartan out.
    Should that be flip or is “flu” a fancy word for flip or perhaps a removal technique that is more involved and I am unaware of? (Goggle is not helping me sort this out on my own. It just wants to talk about illness. Stupid Google.) 😉

  9. Sam

    Hi – oh dear another typo. Deary me, how I so wish I had an editor :-). it is flip

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