in the kitchen with: petrina tinslay

Australian food photographers really need no introduction. If you’ve ever been mesmerized by an image of food, there’s an overwhelming probability that an Aussie was behind it. Award-winning (James Beard) photographer Petrina Tinslay, who gave us this week’s submission, is one of the great greats. If you’ve picked up one of the Australian Marie Claire series of books done by Donna Hay, you’re probably very familiar with Petrina’s work! There aren’t enough words to describe how lucky we are to have her participation in the column. We really wanted to wait until peak tomato season to run the recipe, but being caught between two hemispheres…we just ran it today! The recipe is so simple, I bet you’ll use it more than once when you don’t feel like dirtying too many dishes, or when you a dinner with someone you really need to impress but don’t want to risk any disasters. Whenever you choose to use it, make sure that your tomatoes are fabulous, whichever type you use. Remember to let us know when you try one of the ITKW recipes, make substitutions that work out well for you, or have any helpful tips that weren’t covered in the original post! -Kristina

This recipe appears courtesy of Michele Cranston.

CLICK HERE for the full Tomato Tarte Tatin recipe after the jump!


Tomato Tarte Tatin

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 8 sprigs thyme
• 30-35 small truss tomatoes
• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry

1 ball buffalo mozzarella sliced to serve
green salad to serve
extra virgin olive oil to serve


Preheat oven to 200C. Heat vinegar, sugar and thyme in a 25cm ovenproof frypan over a medium heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring until sugar dissolves, then add tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, then cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to split. Remove from heat and allow to cool in pan. Place pastry over tomatoes and tuck the edges under a little, then transfer frypan to oven and bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Place a large serving platter over the top of the pan and flip upside down, so that the pastry sits on the platter with the tomato filling on top. Cut into wedges and serve with mozzarella slices and a green salad. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper. Serves 6. Recipe ©Michele Cranston


About Petrina

Australian photographer Petrina Tinslay has been shooting images around the globe for the last eighteen years. Her work is diverse and covers the areas of food, lifestyle, interiors, still life, portraiture and travel. Having photographed over 40 cookbooks however, food is a definite passion. Petrina has worked with such distinguished food writers including Britain’s Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith, USA’s Tyler Florence and Australia’s Michele Cranston, Bill Granger, Neil Perry and Donna Hay amongst many others.

Petrina’s work has appeared in magazine titles such as Travel & Leisure, Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Real Simple and Gourmet and the Australian editions of Marie Claire , Vogue Living, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, Elle and Elle Cuisine.

A self-confessed ‘magazine-a-holic’, Petrina’s other passions include film, food and travel.

Why Petrina chose this recipe:

This recipe is an all time favorite recipe written by talented author and friend, stylist Michele Cranston. It’s striking simplicity is what I love about it. So rich in taste and flavor and about gorgeous fresh ingredients…. and so easy to make. Michele and I shot this mouth watering image together and got to eat it after…..A small perk of my job.


That tart looks like unlike any tomato tart I’ve ever seen! I love the whole, plump tomatoes and the juiciness of it.


A gorgeous photograph, but don’t those stem ends make it a little problematic to eat?

Karen Wise

I love Petrina’s airy, beautiful photos! And Donna Hay’s styling and books/mags. I refer to them for periodic inspiration…


not to be math challenged, but when I’m preheating to 200C what’s that on a US oven?


all i can think of when i look at this is HEARTBURN, but beautifully photographed!


oh oh ohhhh … this will be the first new dish i try with our garden tomatoes. beautiful and delish looking..

Terry Crawford

I can’t wait to try this recipe but wish you would help us Americans out by including our measurements for oven temp’s and size of pans, etc.



I tried this recipe last night. It was so good! I was just wondering if the crust is supposed to be soft or more crispy?

the purcells

have always been a huge fan of petrina’s work since first being inspired by donna hay cookbooks. absolutely fabulous to see her on design sponge!


I have two huge Marie Claire cookbooks by Michelle Cranston. Not sure if Petrina was the photographer, but I admit I bought them mainly because of the beautiful photographs. I need to see what a recipe can become to get motivated :)


Beautiful Blog, Beautiful Recipe!!
I’ll try it out today :)


I bought a donna hay book because the pictures stopped me dead in my tracks. I keep pulling out the book to show people petrina’s photos. They are classic, simple and truly beautiful.

Walkiria Vieira

Não entendi nada porque não sei inglês mas, adorei a imagem… me deu “água na boca”… parabéns !!!


Two questions: Are the tomato stem ends edible? What is the final texture of the crust: soft or crispy?


I have the same question, are the stems really supposed to be eaten? I don’t think this tastes well.