Peel the shallots and place them whole in a saucepan with the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes and then drain.
To make the caramel:
Place the sugar in a pan, melt without stirring and without adding any extra sugar and allow to turn to a caramel. As soon as it turns a dark caramel colour, pour into separate tart moulds.
Pre-heat the oven to 200'c.
Cut the boiled shallots into 2cm slices and then arrange them in the moulds.
Cover the moulds with pastry discs. These will form the bases of the tarte tatin.
Bake the tarts for 25minutes and once cooked, leave to rest in the moulds.
Just before serving, season with a pinch of fleur de sel and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.
«Do not stir the sugar while it is melting in the pan.»