balsamic shallot tarte tatin

roughly 20 shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise

2 tsp vegetable oil

salt & pepper

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 package frozen puff pastry, divided

AP flour

for topping if desired:

8 oz mixed mushrooms, torn into pieces

2 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, smashed

3 oz ricotta

1/3 cup baby arugula

1/2 oz parmesan, shaved

olive oil & lemon wedge

mustard flowers

Oven 400 degrees F. 

Toss shallots & oil together in a large bowl, season with salt & pepper. Place in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender & browned in spots, 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, bring vinegar & sugar to a simmer in a small skillet over med-low heat. Swirl occasionally, until syrupy about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp butter then remove from heat. Arrange shallots, cut side up in a large skillet. Overlap if necessary.

Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1 inch larger than the bottom of the skillet. If pastry is in 2 pieces, just gently press together before rolling. Prick pastry in several places with a fork then drape atop the shallots. Tuck in any long edges into the skillet. Bake until pastry is golden brown & puffed, 25-30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tbsp butter in a medium skillet over med-high heat. Cook mushrooms & garlic, tossing often, until mushrooms are tender & browned, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.

Let tart sit until pastry in cooled slightly, 5-10 minutes. Carefully invert onto a plate. Top with ricotta, mushrooms, arugula, mustard flowers & parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze lemon wedge over & season with salt. 

@BonAppetit (just ever so slightly altered)

This was the last recipe that Aaron & I made together. He moved away the next weekend to Australia to go work at a winery. Our weird living situation is no more. Our rooms were connected by just a thin door. His tiny little room could only be entered through my room or the bathroom. It is a weird old house, but being so close to him never really bothered me. He's just as much of a b*tch as I am so we always got along fine. Plus a love of baking made it always easy to find something to talk about. 

So on our last bake together, we wanted to use the mustard flowers that are growing like crazy along wineries all around us. We drove just a bit down the highway from the house and found a big patch that we could easily clip a few bundles off with out anyone noticing. They definitely wilt very quickly, but fresh or wilted they still added a nice subtle spiciness to the tart. 

The original recipe for the tarte called for 6 large shallots, either whoever made this recipe comes across exceedingly large shallots or ours are ridiculously small. Either way 6 way definitely not enough, by far. We roasted them off then place them in the skillet & just kinda stared at it for a second. It covered about 1/4 of the pan. Luckily the grocery store is 3 blocks away, so we made a quick trip and bought a lot more. Lets go with 20 for the recipe as a safe bet. 

So after a little shallot debacle, the rest of the recipe was a breezy. We had to work quickly, the light was fading by the minute. But we both ending up getting a few shots in then could dive into the tarte. Then for some reason cleaned up the kitchen in the most frantic pace. After we finally took a breath after a insane clean up session, we both looked at each other & were like, 'Why did we just do that? We have literally nothing else to do to.' Oh how I will miss all of our weird moments together.