Apple Tarte Tatin

I absolutely love apple desserts: apple crumbles, apple pies, apple tarts. Saying that, it is weird that I only discovered tarte tatin when, a couple of years ago, I got a French (almost) housemate. She loves cooking too, and one evening she produced the best apple tart I had ever tasted. How had I not thought of this before? Caramelised apple tart. The perfect dessert? Possibly.

I didn’t try it to make myself though. It always seemed a bit of a faff to be honest, and everyone who made a tarte tatin on Masterchef (and Masterchef is never wrong) used some kind of fancy equipment or made it look and sound too complicated.

The other day, I had a lot of apples left and it had been a hard week, so we thought we’d cook ourselves a treat. We made some steaks and some dauphinoise potatoes and I made a tarte tatin for pudding. Well, almost. I completely underestimated how long it would take to cook, so we had brownies for pudding and I decided to finish the tarte tatin the next morning.

And this is the only thing that stops this from being the perfect recipe: it takes a while. But it’s completely worth it. Perfectly sweet and soft apples in the middle, sticky at the edges, with crumbly, buttery puff pastry at the bottom for some texture contrast.

Apple Tarte Tatin

Ingredients

6 crisp medium apples
100 gr butter, softened
100 gr caster sugar
250 gr puff pastry

Peel and core the apples and cut them in quarters. Spread the butter as evenly as possible on the bottom of a round oven-proof bowl, with a flat bottom, about 20cm in diameter. Sprinkle the sugar on the top.

Place the apples, cut side up, symmetrically around the bowl. The bottom side is going to be on the top later on, so make it as pretty as you can. When/if you run out of space, slice the rest of the quarters in 2-3 pieces and place them on top of the apples already in the the bowl. It doesn’t matter if these will look pretty as they will end up at the bottom of the tart anyway. 

Cover with foil and cook in the oven at 170 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Take the foil off and cook for another half hour, making sure the top doesn’t burn.

Roll your pastry in a circle big enough to cover the apples. Place it on top of them (I did that when mine had cooled down, not sure if it makes a huge difference but you’ve been warned) and tuck the ends inside, between the apples and the bowl. With a knife, pierce the pastry in a couple of places to make sure any steam can come out. Cook for half an hour or until the pastry is cooked.

The bottom should now be looking beautifully caramelised. Place a plate on top of the bowl (make sure you don’t burn yourself!) and quickly turn it upside down so that the pastry lands on the plate. The apples should follow.

I was a bit scared of this part but it actually worked fine, almost nothing got stuck on the bowl. Any buttery juice will end up on the pastry, making the edges really sticky. It is genius.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or some creme fraiche. I love it either warm or cold. And now that I know how to make it, it’s my new favourite dessert. It does take time, but you don’t have to do anything as your oven will do all the work. Perfect for a weekend treat or a dinner party as it is definitely a crowd pleaser.

14 comments

  1. Dawn (KitchenTravels) · March 19, 2010

    Beautiful tarte. Just lovely!

    Like

  2. Dimah · April 14, 2010

    This tart looks fantastic! Lovely photos🙂

    Like

  3. Claudia · April 28, 2010

    Beautiful tart! I just made one… it is cooling right now and I have not yet removed from pan…

    C.

    Like

  4. Ino · April 29, 2010

    Thank you🙂
    Claudia, how was it? Is it going on the blog? I'll keep an eye out for it!

    Like

  5. Anonymous · January 4, 2011

    didn,t work for me😦

    Like

  6. Ino · January 5, 2011

    Hi Anon,

    What went wrong? I've made the same recipe several times and it was good every time, so maybe I can help!

    Like

  7. Anonymous · July 9, 2012

    What kind of baking pan you are using. I tried this using Pyrex and 1 1/2 hr my granny smith apples became apple pureed.. so I stopped there keep it as apple filling for something else instead.. taste really good though😉

    Like

  8. Ino · July 9, 2012

    I normally use a Pyrex dish too. Maybe apples were not very crisp? I've never had that problem to be honest, but I normally use Royal Gala apples so maybe that's why🙂

    Like

  9. Anonymous · February 8, 2013

    Hi again.. I just can't get over your tart tatin picture as I think it is the best looking in the entire internet. I love the look, the sticky edge, the apple stays in good shape..also just like the fact that you just let the oven does the caramelization. I ended up eating lots of mushy tart tatin😦

    May be if you make it again.. Any chance you can take the picture of the process?? Like how you arrange it before going in, after the foil ..

    Oh one thing .. Is your oven convection ??

    Million thanks!!!

    Like

  10. Ino · February 8, 2013

    Hello! Thanks for the lovely comment🙂 I haven't been doing much blogging recently but it's been a while since I last made this and I was thinking of making another one soon… I will take some photos and update this post if I do🙂

    My last oven (when I made this a lot) was not fan assisted (I think!), but the one I've got now is, so I'll try it and update cooking times/temps.

    Like

  11. Anonymous · February 9, 2013

    Thanks for speedy reply…my oven is convection. (Fan assisted) … I will continue to experiment. I am thinking to just let butter sugar caramelised first then add apple and pastry together.

    Oh forgot one thing that I like about your tart tatin, it s not soggy at all.. I love it.. want it sticky like yours ;( your caramel turns sticky.

    Like

  12. Ino · February 9, 2013

    Hmm if yours doesn't turn sticky maybe you need to cook the caramel and apples a bit longer… The apples aren't mushy, just soft. Maybe it's the type of apples you use?

    Like

  13. Anonymous · April 28, 2013

    Thank you so much for recipe!!! It was my 1st attempt ever of making this tarte and i love it!!!its better then the one i had in Paris!

    Like

  14. Pingback: Early Christmas lunch | Kitchen 22

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