Films and Food (a recipe for Tomato Tarte Tatin)

Recently I had a much overdue catchup with my girlfriends. All of us are busy these days: a few now have children, another has just moved in with her boyfriend… and two of us practically live at the gym; so it’s quite an event when we all manage to get together!

This time we headed to Stamford for the Burghley Film Festival, where open air screenings take place in the grounds.

Burghley House – the beautiful view walking into the grounds

Being as it was strictly girls only for this gathering, we opted for the double bill showing of Breakfast At Tiffany’s and The Notebook.
Each of us brought along some food and drink and we had a lovely picnic on the lawn, soaking in the early evening sunshine and having a good chinwag, before settling down to watch the films.

My contribution was a tomato tarte tatin.

It was perfect for the occasion as it was easy enough for me to make the night before and refrigerate at work since I was heading to the festival straight from there, plus it was suitable for my vegetarian friend.
I was thrilled when it went down a treat, with compliments from all of my friends and empty plates all round.

Here’s the recipe, which serves 8 as part of a picnic, or 4 for lunch.


250g plain flour
140g butter
1 tbsp oregano (I used dried but I suspect that fresh chopped would be even more delicious)
5 tbsp cold water (you can add another tbsp if needed)


1 tbsp caster sugar
1 clove garlic
2 tsp white wine vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
25 g butter


  • Start by preheating the oven to 200C.
  • In a food processor, whizz up the flour, butter, oregano and a pinch of salt until your mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the water, to make a soft dough.
  • Tip: You want it to be soft but not sticky – 5 tbsps always seems right when I do it, but remember that you can add but you can’t take away, so start with 3 tbsps and then add one at a time!
  • Roll out the pastry into a circle roughly 10 inches in diameter.
  • Next crush the garlic, and chop the tomatoes in half.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar.
  • Stir it on a high heat until it starts to turn golden brown, then take it off the heat.
  • Quickly add in the tomatoes, garlic and white wine vinegar and stir together until coated evenly, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into a 9 inch round cake tin.
  • Pop your circle of pastry over the tomatoes, and tuck the edges in with your fingers. (This will create a little ‘plate’ so that when you turn it upside down later, the juicy filling will be caught).
  • Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then place it in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is firm and golden.
  • Tip: you will see some of the liquid start to bubble up from the sides of the tin, this is perfectly fine!
  • Once ready, rest it for a couple of minutes and then turn it out onto a warmed serving plate.
  • Sprinkle a bit more oregano on the top for a nice finish!

 This tarte is really lovely served warm, but will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. The one thing I would say is that the tomatoes do ooze, so if you don’t eat it straight away some of the juice will overflow and cause the pastry to go a bit soggy – this didn’t appear to bother anyone at the picnic however!

Tempting, no?

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Peterborough | UK
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