Easy Fennel Tarte Tatin with Feta

By Mieke

I don’t have that much to say about this recipe. It’s basically a play on this caramelized fennel recipe, but with a nice flakey crust. What’s not to love?

A word on dough

I tried two different doughs for this recipe. One from Nigel Slater‘s Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter which he uses for a shallot, apple and parm tarte and one from a new Dutch vegan baking book Taart ende Koeck by Maartje Borst. Because I tried two different doughs I also made one by hand and one using my food processor.

Amazon.fr - Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter (Cloth-Covered, Flexible Binding) -  Slater, Nigel - Livres

If you can: definitely make the dough by hand. It can feel like a bit of a slog but the dough comes out much more flakey, the machine cuts everything down far too uniform to get a nice texture in my opinion. I’ve included both dough recipes (with some adjustments to Nigel’s) so you have a vegan and a non-vegan option. Obviously to make this vegan use vegan feta and vegan butter.

Other variations

Obviously you can make this with whatever veg-cheese (or veg-veg) combination you like. I’m thinking carrots or (and?) beets with goats or blue cheese, shallots and onions, bell pepper, etc. etc. etc. Because the vegetables don’t cook on top of the dough you can probably even get away with something a little wetter, like tomatoes, for example.

Fennel Tarte Tatin

Dorothy Porker
Two different pie crusts to make one delicious fennel tarte tatin with feta.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine French, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2


  • Large bowl or food processor (see notes)
  • Oven
  • Cast iron skillet or other oven proof frying pan ⌀ 26 cm - 10"
  • Parchment (optional)
  • Rolling pin or wine bottle


For Maartje Borst's vegan tatin crust

  • 2 c - 250 g flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt
  • 1/2 c - 125 g vegan butter cold and cut into cubes
  • 3-4 T - 45-60ml water cold

For Nigel Slater's vegetarian tatin crust

  • 2 c - 250 g flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt
  • 1 c - 125 g butter cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks freeze the whites and use within 3 months
  • 2 t - 10 g fennel seeds roasted and crushed
  • 4 T - 60 g feta or parmesan finely crumbled or grated

For the fennel tarte tatin

  • 2 T - 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 T - 15 g sugar
  • 1 large bulb fennel thinly sliced, you can set the fronds aside to serve (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 T - 7.5 g fennel seeds
  • 1/2 c - 75 g feta roughly crumbled


Make the dough

  • Place 2 c - 250 g flour in a large bowl and mix in 1 t - 5 g of salt.
  • Add 1/2 c - 125 g of butter and pinch and rub the butter into the flour, but avoid kneading proper. You want to be left with a kind of sandy consistency.

To make Maartje's tatin crust

  • Add 3-4 T - 45-60 ml of cold water and mix by hand until the dough starts coming together. Again, avoid kneading because this will make the dough chewy rather than crumbly. Just keep pushing the dough together until it forms a ball.

To make Nigel's tatin crust

  • Add 1 egg yolk, 2 t - 10 g of fennel seeds and 4 T - 60 g of finely crumbled or grated feta or parmesan and mix by hand until the dough starts coming together. Avoid kneading because this will make the dough chewy rather than crumbly. Keep pushing the dough together until it forms a ball.

Make the fennel tarte tatin

  • Whichever dough you've made, wrap or cover the ball and leave to set in the fridge.
  • Preheat your oven to 200° C - 390° F.
  • Heat 2 T - 15 ml of olive oil in a skillet. Divide 1 T - 15 g of sugar across the bottom of the pan before placing the slices of fennel into the pan in a single layer (or as single as you can get it). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to caramelize on a medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes, until the fennel has colored a nice golden brown.
  • Now turn the fennel over, again in as single of a layer as you can get, toss over 1/2 T - 7.5 g of fennel seeds and season with additional pepper and leave to brown for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the fennel in the skillet.
  • Depending on the weather you can now sprinkle the fennel with 1/2 c - 75 g of feta (if it's cold) or sprinkle over the feta right before serving (if it's warm).
  • Take your dough from the fridge and roll it out in an even layer in roughly the same diameter as your frying pan. To make it easier to place the dough onto the fennel in a second, it's best to do this on some parchment. The dough will break in areas but you can just stick it back together, it's fine.
  • Say a quick prayer and flip, toss or manoeuvre (I love a manoeuvre) the dough onto your fennel. Pat it down a little to make sure the dough adheres to the fennel and tuck in and cut off any excess edges before baking your tatin in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. The dough will stay pale but be cooked through, I promise.
  • Turn out the tatin by placing a large plate or board over your skillet and flipping the whole thing over (ask for assistance with this if you have someone around and are a bit of a klutz) and top with the 1/2 c - 75 g of feta if you haven't already used this. Sprinkle over the fennel fronds to make it pretty (or don't) and serve with a simple green lightly dressed salad.


You can make these doughs with a food processor but the result won't be as nice and flakey as making it by hand. Still: we make due with what we can.
Once prepared this fennel tarte tatin will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat for 15 minutes or so in a hot oven. 
Keyword fennel, feta, maartje borst, Nigel Slater, savory tart, savoury tart, tarte tatin

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