An upside-down twist to your typical parsnip side dish

Next in line in our Christmas recipes series is Georgie’s tarte tatin of dreams. Parsnips are cheap to buy and are grown right here in the UK, making them a good sustainable option over the Christmas period!

Even beyond the festivities, consider it a delightful addition to your mid-holiday week when the days blur together.

About this post



December 8, 2023

Georgie Hodgson

What makes this dish so special?

“This festive tart makes a glorious side dish to any Christmas feast, and it’s a great way to repurpose leftover parsnips and chestnuts. It would also do well as a light lunch, served alongside a simple watercress salad in the period between Christmas and New Year, when nobody is sure what day it is! The sweet, earthiness of the parsnips and chestnuts, balanced with the buttery umami from the shallots and marmite, creates a match made in heaven.” – Georgie says.


Find the full recipe below


  • 1 x 320g sheet all-butter puff pastry 
  • Parsnips x 500g, peeled and sliced lengthways into 1 cm strips 
  • 100g chopped chestnuts 
  • 3 small banana shallots, peeled and halved 
  • 2 tbsp light brown soft sugar 
  • 50g butter (can be vegan butter) 
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme 
  • 1 ½ tbsp marmite  


Equipment needed: 

Medium sized Oven-proof frying pan (20-25cm wide)  



  • Unroll the puff pastry sheet, and cut into a rough circle, about 2cm larger than the oven-proof frying pan you are using. Gently spread the marmite evenly across the pastry disc. Place on a tray and return to the fridge while you get on with preparing the veg.  
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil, and add the parsnip batons. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain. 
  • Melt the butter in your ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the parboiled parsnips and shallots, and sauté for about 5 until starting to colour. Add the brown sugar and stir, cooking for another 5 minutes until starting to caramelize. 
  •  Add the chopped chestnuts and thyme, stir well. Arrange the vegetables evenly across the pan, making sure the cut edge of the shallots are pressed flat to the bottom of the pan. Cook for a couple more minutes, then remove from the heat. 
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C electric/ 180 fan. Remove the pastry from the fridge, and lay it over the pan of veggies, marmite side down, tucking the edges in snugly. Bake in the oven until golden brown – this should take 25-30 minutes.  
  • Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes, before flipping it out onto the dish you want to serve it on. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to serve.  


Top tips:

Use the off cuts from the pastry to make stars, as seen in our vegan smoked salmon Christmas wreath recipe.