Fennel tarte tartin

Nici Wickes' fennel tarte tartin recipe is both crispy and soft, sweet and tangy, and perfect for spring weather. Give this underrated vege a chance to shine!

By Nici Wickes
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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  • 2-3 fennel bulbs
  • 50 gram butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 75 millilitre sherry
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • few springs of thyme
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, cut to size of pan
  • 50 gram feta, crumbled
  • extra thyme, to garnish
  • olive oil, to drizzle


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 210ºC.
  • 2
    Prepare the fennel by trimming off the “fingers” and fronds (save these for salads or slow roasts), then slice the main bulb into 3-4 thick slices. Try to keep each slice from falling apart.
  • 3
    Melt the butter and oil in a 23cm (approx) pan, then place fennel slices in a single layer and cook until golden on one side. Turn carefully and cook until soft – about 10-15 minutes.
  • 4
    Add a splash of sherry, the brown sugar and thyme. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • 5
    Place the pastry over the pan and cut to size around the rim.
  • 6
    Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry has puffed up and is golden.
  • 7
    Invert the tart onto a plate or board as soon as it’s out of the oven (be careful as syrup will run out). Sprinkle over feta, extra thyme leaves and a drizzle of good quality olive oil to serve.


  • Save the feathery fennel fronds to scatter over salads and meats or whip with feta, garlic and olive oil for a great spring dip. - Fennel browns quickly once cut, so if not using immediately, keep in water that has a squeeze of lemon juice added.

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