On the first day of Christmas Jessie Spiby gave to us…


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Her onion tarte tatin, goats curd and cranberry sauce recipe

Jessie Spiby

Onion Tarte Tatin + Goats Curd + Cranberry Sauce

You may recognise this happy face. That’s because Jessie Spiby was a contender on MasterChef 2015 and blew the judges away with her Blue Cheese Honey Parfait with a Smoky Star Anise Snow. As a graphic designer, Jessie has returned to her home town of Adelaide and is proud to be representing local South Australia with her paddock to plate philosophy.

Q. Why do you love this recipe?

This dish covers all the bases. Sweet sticky onions, crunchy buttery pastry and fresh creamy curd. Enjoyed as the main act or as a side, it’ll keep your vegetarian guests happy, as well as the meat eaters.

Q. What makes it perfect for Christmas?

This recipe is super easy and requires little prep time. It’ll take 30-40 minutes and can bubble away unattended while you wrangle your guests together. It’s a little bit naughty; crispy and crunchy, and simply perfect for Christmas.

Q. Where can you purchase the ingredients?

The Adelaide Central Markets have a great range of locally made goats curd as well as locally sourced vegetables. Most Foodlands offer a range of locally made goats curd also.

Q. What would you pair with it?

Serve it up with all the normal Christmas trimmings such as cranberry sauce or gravy, with ham or poultry, or let it shine as the star in a vegetarian Christmas.

A beautiful Basket Range pinot noir would be perfect with the tarte tatin, and also a great match for turkey too! I will be enjoying the Ochota Barrels Pinot Noir.

Q. What’s your top Christmas day cooking tip?

Be organised, makes lists, have a menu plan and if all else fails… get your Mum to help!


50g butter

1/4 cup raw sugar, or caster sugar

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

3 medium brown onions, sliced into 1.5cm rings

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leave removed from stem

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, partially thawed

River Murray flake salt


To Serve

2 Sprigs of Thyme

Any South Australian goats curd (I used Cremeux Provincial Cheese)

Cranberry sauce

  • Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced.
  • On medium heat, melt butter in a 20-22cm flameproof fry pan. Once the butter has half melted sprinkle in the sugar.
  • Without stirring, cook for 5 minutes or until it turns golden in colour. Stir in half the vinegar, sprinkle in half the thyme leaves and season the pan with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place onion slices in the pan in a single layer. Fill any gaps by cutting the rounds in half or quarters. Let the onions bubble away in the caramel for 10 minutes on a medium heat, or until the onion begins to soften. Sprinkle the remaining vinegar over the onion as well as the left over thyme leaves, then season once more with salt and pepper.
  • While the onions are cooking, on a lightly floured surface roll pastry out until 3mm thick. Roughly cut a 25cm diameter circle, if you are using square sheets simply cut off the corners.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry round over onions, tucking in the edges, ensuring the onions are nice and snug.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and is golden in colour. Once cooked remove from oven and allow tarte tatin to stand in the pan for a few minutes, this helps to keep the tart together.
  • Place a plate or board over the pan, flip over and carefully turn the tarte tatin out. Add a good dollop of goats curd and cranberry sauce, sprinkle with thyme leaves and serve immediately!
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