Stuffed caramelised tomatoes

Stuffed caramelised tomatoes

Best Kitchen Basics
Petrina Tinslay

An invention of the great Alain Passard, this remains one of the great tomato dishes of the restaurant world. Even at some 20 years old, the idea of serving tomato for dessert is a cause of consternation to most people. The tomato is in fact a fruit, is sweet and tastes like Christmas. Where is the downside?


Quantity Ingredient
6 small–medium vine-ripened tomatoes, vine still attached

Tomato stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced, plus 200 ml orange juice
2 pears, peeled and cut into 3 mm dice
2 apples, peeled and cut into 3 mm dice
1 pineapple, peeled and cut into 3 mm dice
50g slivered almonds, finely chopped
50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked and shredded
50g currants
2 teaspoons ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
500g sugar


  1. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and refresh immediately in iced water. Remove the skins but retain the stem in place.
  2. Cut a small ‘cone’ out of the bottom of the tomatoes. Using a small melon baller, remove the tomato flesh and seeds. Place the tomatoes on a wire rack set over a tray, along with the cone pieces, in the refrigerator overnight to dry them out.
  3. Preheat the oven to 70°C .
  4. To make the stuffing, put the citrus zest and juice (except the 200 ml orange juice) in a large bowl. Add the pear, apple and pineapple to the citrus juice. Add the nuts, mint, currants and spices and combine.
  5. In a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and 150 ml water to 121°C. Add the stuffing mixture and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside.
  7. Cool the fruit mixture and store in the refrigerator.
  8. Pour the reserved liquid back in the saucepan and return the pan to the stove top over medium heat. Reduce the liquid down to a dark caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the 200 ml orange juice to stop the cooking process. Pass through a fine sieve.
  9. Preheat the oven to 150°C .
  10. Once dry, stuff the blanched tomatoes with the filling, then replace each cone piece. Cover with the tomato caramel and place in the oven. Baste every 15–20 minutes until the tomatoes are caramelised, about 2 hours.
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