Let's be honest; this looks terrible. Instead of caramelizing nicely and coating the Brussels sprouts in an appetizing, sticky glaze that charred appealingly around the edges, the liquid that I placed in the bottom of the pan was somehow slurped up by the sprouts, leaving an insipid looking tart. That being said, my mom pronounced it delicious on the day, and I found it quite yummy for lunch the next. The inspiration recipe photo looks much better, but mine is probably less sweet, and I substituted puff pastry for the regular pie crust of the original.
If I ever make this again, I wait make my caramel with greater care and also make individual mini tatins, rather than one big one.
Makes six to eight slices.
1 lb Brussels sprouts, tailed and halved
1 medium white onion, peeled, halved and cut into thin half moons
1 sheet of best quality puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator, lightly rolled out and the corners roughly cut off so as to form a circle
1 + 1 Tbsps Vermouth or dry white wine
1 Tbsps + 1 tsp white wine or Champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
Salt to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place a steamer over the top of the water and add the halved Brussels sprouts and any single leaves that detached while you were halving the sprouts. Cover and steam for four minutes. Remove the steamer from the pan and shock the sprouts in an ice bath.
Preheat the oven to 425.
While it is heating, cook the onions in a large skillet, stirring often, along with the thyme, one tablespoon of the butter and some salt.
As soon as the onions start to soften, add one tablespoon of the Vermouth to the mixture and continue to cook the onions until the liquid has been reduced to a glossy sauce that coats the onion slices. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the sugar and alcohol to an eight inch cake tin and place on the hob over low heat. Heat, moving the cake tin bake and forth, until the alcohol has cooked off and the sugar has melted. Contrary to me, let it darken and thicken before adding the butter.
Turn off the heat and add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, in a pleasing pattern. Fill any holes with the individual leaves.
Top the Brussels sprouts with a layer of the jammy onions and tuck the pie crust into the sides of the pan as well as you can. Lightly prick the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for five minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate.
Inspiration recipe, here.