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Favorite recipe in 2020: Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin on Pâte Brisée

Favorite Recipe of the Year 2020

When mulling over this unprecedented year—and all of the collaborations, custom events, and more that have taken place—we decided to think about which of the many recipes created in 2020 is our favorite for the year. That wasn’t easy, in part because one recipe might be best because of its uniqueness, while another might be our favorite because of ease of creation or unexpected flavor.

In fact, choosing our favorite recipe was almost as difficult as getting Farmer Lee to name his favorite tomato! The one we ultimately chose does involve more prep work than some others—but, once that’s done, you can easily make this dish.

Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin on Pâte Brisée

Servings: 4-8

Prep: 90 minutes

At the Culinary Vegetable Institute, we often lean into items that are crave-able at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, appreciating the farm-fresh ingredients available to us at The Chef’s Garden. Fortunately, with so many people cooking at home these days, what interests us is also appealing to many of you.

We hope you enjoy making this dish—and here’s where you can find the farm-fresh vegetables that are highlighted in our favorite recipe of 2020.

This root vegetable tarte tatin leans heavily into French-influenced pastry but brings with it a new appreciation for humble subterranean vegetables. Meanwhile, the introduction of vinegar in this dish brings with it a beautiful savory complement to the caramelized vegetables. Consider adding this to a cheese course and serving with a fortified wine like Rivesaltes.

For the Pâte Brisée:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/4 c ice water

For the Root Vegetables:

2 baby beets: golden and candy striped, washed and sliced into 3/8” thick rounds

1 baby sweet potato, washed and sliced into 3/8” thick rounds

2 baby carrots, washed and sliced into 3/8” thick rounds

¼ cup butter melted

Kosher salt

black pepper, freshly ground

For the BLiS 9 Sherry Vinegar Caramel:

1 sheet of parchment paper

⅓ cup sugar

2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, or verbena

For Assembly:

1 10-inch flat bottom round pie pan

4 oz. aged cheese, finely grated


For the Pâte Brisée:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal after eight to ten seconds. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time.

Form into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour before sheeting. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to one month.

To Begin

Place a rack on the second lowest shelf of your oven; preheat to 400°.

For the Vegetables

Toss the beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots with butter, salt, and pepper on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Roast until lightly browned around the edges and fork tender, 30–35 minutes. Meanwhile, work on the caramel.

For the Caramel

Cut a cartouche from parchment paper to fit the bottom of your pie pan or cast-iron pan.

While the vegetables are still cooking, combine the sugar and two tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is amber-colored (345-348ºF); this should take five to seven minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Stir gently to combine.

Prepare the bottom and sides of the pie pan with a brush of olive oil. Add the parchment cartouche. Press flat to the bottom. Pour the hot caramel into a 10” diameter pie pan; tilt and rotate pan to evenly coat the bottom with caramel. Use the back of a spoon to assist if necessary. Scatter the chopped herbs over top.

For Assembly

Arrange beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots snugly in a single layer on top of the caramel. Use smaller carrot pieces to fill in any negative space. Scatter the aged cheese over the vegetables.


Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12” round. Drape over the vegetables, tucking edges into the pan. Dock the dough all over with a fork. Bake until the crust looks dry, about 20 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake until crust is golden brown, about 15–20 minutes.

Let the tart cool five minutes before inverting carefully onto a large plate. Slice and enjoy!

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