Here at Northern Soul, we’re gearing up for the festive period and, not surprisingly, starting to think about our annual yuletide feasts.

This year, star of the meat-free world and Welsh cookbook author Gaz Oakleyhas partnered with plant-based food company Merchant Gourmet to encourage more people to include meatless meals as part of their Christmas celebrations. 

During the countdown to Christmas, we’ll be sharing delicious plant-based scran guaranteed to spark your appetite. This week, we’ve got a recipe for Chestnut and shallot tarte tatin. 

Chestnut and shallot tarte tatin

Serves 6

Cooking time: 50 minutes


3 tbsp olive oil 
6 banana shallots, skin removed and halved lengthways 
1 x 180g pouch Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts 
3 tbsp brown sugar 
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
3 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve 
2 rosemary sprigs 
320g roll of pre-made puff pastry  

Chestnut and shallot tarte tatin. Gaz Oakley in partnership with Merchant Gourmet


  • Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). 
  • Cut the roll of pastry into a circle 2.5 cm larger than your pan. Lightly dust with flour, place on a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a tray or board and chill for 20 minutes, or until needed. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch ovenproof, non-stick pan. Add the shallots, cut side facing up, and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until starting to char on one side. Add the chestnuts, then sprinkle over the brown sugar and flip the shallots over, arranging everything neatly in the pan to ensure there are no gaps. 
  • Lower the heat, then add the balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary and a splash of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until starting to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. 
  • Place the chilled pastry on top, tucking it into the edges of the pan, using a wooden spoon to help you if it’s too hot. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. 
  • Wearing an oven glove, place a large plate or board over the top of the pan and once secure, quickly flip to turn out the tart. Sprinkle over some fresh thyme sprigs and serve. 


Credit: Gaz Oakley in partnership with Merchant Gourmet