This is one for fellow potato lovers. It’s unbelievably delicious and suitable for vegetarians.
2 tbsp olive oil
500g baby new potatoes
6 small round shallots peeled
40g (1½oz) sugar
20g (1oz) butter
3 fresh thyme sprig, pull the leaves off and discard the stalks
200g mature cheddar
1 puff pastry sheet, thinly rolled or ready-rolled
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ Gas Mark 6 and get a small silicone (or non-stick) cake tin ready.
Put the potatoes into a pan of salted water for about 20 minutes and boil until soft. Add the peeled shallots about 5 minutes before the end. Drain and cool then carefully cult the potatoes and shallots in half.
While the potatoes are cooling, melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan and add the sugar stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it turns into a darkish caramel. Be super careful at this stage, this mixture is incredibly hot. Pour this sauce into the bottom of the cake tin and spread it around the tin evenly. Sprinkle the thyme leaves around.
Press the cut side of the potatoes onto the caramel and then fill the gaps with the cut shallots. Scatter grated cheese all over it. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the pastry so it would be just a bit bigger than the cake tin and cover the potatoes with the puff pasty. Tuck any overhanging bits gently in around the sides.
Put the pie into the oven for about 25 minutes. Check to ensure it’s not burning and cook until the pastry is done. You might want to turn the oven down slightly and add a few more minutes to the cooking time.
Take it out of the oven. Let it cool slightly for a few minutes. The put a plate over the top, invert it quickly so that the pie turns onto the plate. Serve immediately with a fresh green salad.
This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for Surprise Tatin