Food & Drink

Recipes: Weekend wow factor with Niall McKenna's tarte tatin

Niall McKenna's beetroot tarte tatin
Niall McKenna's beetroot tarte tatin

It is always a bonus when you can replicate an impressive dish at home, giving your guests that wow factor. We have French-themed classes at the cookery school where our guests make a delicious tarte tatin.

I always notice how amazed they are at how easy it is and how proud they are of their newfound prowess. This week we have both sweet and savoury tarts – an updated version of our apple tarte tatin and a tarte tatin with homegrown beetroot. Why not give these a go this weekend?

:: For all budding cooks out there, our 2024 cookery class calendar is online now with plenty of availability in all classes. Why not give them a go? Check them out at: or follow us on Instagram



(Serves 4)

500g of beetroot

Salt and black pepper

500g small red onions

50g of butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

5 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

320g puff pastry

Flour to dust the work surface

2 tsp capers


Begin by washing the beetroot before cooking whole in boiling, salted water for 30 minutes until tender. Remove and leave to cool. Once cooled, peel and cut into quarters, setting to the side.

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Peel and cut the onions before melting butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Then add the olive oil along with the onions, which are to be cooked for two minutes before turning over and allowing them to cook on the other side.

Next add the beetroot on top and arrange evenly as the pastry will be going on top. Then place the garlic cloves in any gaps, scattering with the thyme.

Season with salt and pepper before lightly scattering the sugar. Cook for another minute and drizzle over the balsamic. Cook for a further minute while you roll the pastry.

For the pastry, dust your work surface with flour, rolling out the pastry to a size a bit larger than the pan. While the beetroot and onions are still on the heat, place the pastry on top, tucking it in at the sides of the pan.

Cut a steam hole into the middle of the pastry and leave on the hob for another minute before moving it to the oven to cook for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffy.

Lastly, remove from the oven and leave to rest in the tin. When ready to serve, place a plate on top of the pan and turn it over. Dress with capers and a few sprigs of thyme.

Read more:

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  • James St Recipes: Niall McKenna's prawns with garlic and chilli, and crème caramel
  • Make it chicken tonight with these two delicious recipes from Niall McKenna
Niall McKenna's apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream
Niall McKenna's apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream



(Serves 4)

80g sugar

30g butter

1 Granny Smith apple, or pear

1 sheet of puff pastry

Vanilla ice cream


Begin by heating the butter and sugar until it becomes caramelised.

Pour the mixture into moulds, covering the base.

Peel and slice the apple or the pear before placing it on top of the caramel.

Cut a disc of pastry (the size of the moulds), approximately 5mm thick. Place the pastry on top of the fruit (apple or pear) and tuck into the edges.

Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Turn out and serve with good quality vanilla ice cream.


Waterman House Cookery School,

Waterman House,

5-23 Hill Street,

Belfast BT1 2LA

Facebook&Instagram: WatermanHouse