My Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin takes the combination of flakey buttery pastry with sour apples and sweet caramel to make a dessert that really sings.
Hi Bold Bakers!
It’s Gemma’s mum, Patricia, sharing a recipe with you for the holidays. Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin is a favorite in our house. Mainly because it’s super quick to put together, and also for the simple reason that everyone loves it!
Apple Tarte Tatin has its origins in France, and this recipe is a favorite of mine from the great chef Raymond Blanc. From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy it!
Do you need a special pan for Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin?
The best pan to make any kind of tarte tatin in is a well seasoned cast iron pan. Cast iron conducts heat really well and really helps the fruit to cook through and caramelize.
If you don’t have a cast iron pan you can use another pan, just make sure the pan and its handle are oven safe. You’ll want to avoid nonstick pans for recipes like this Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin, too, as they don’t create the same depth of flavor or color in the caramel.
What kind of pastry is used for Tarte Tatin?
One of the best parts of this Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin is the way the puff pastry really melds with the caramel. The combination of the flakey buttery pastry with the sour apples and sweet caramel is really what makes this dessert sing.
While you can use a homemade puff pastry, or my rough puff pastry, you can definitely use store bought — just buy the best quality you can. I used pre-made frozen puff pastry for this recipe because it really does save me time. In the time it usually takes me to peel my apples and make the caramel, the crust is defrosted and ready to go.
What kind of apples work best? Can you use other fruit?
Making an apple tart in my younger years was a much simpler process and was usually made with a very sour “cooking” apple, called a Bramley seedling. This tarte however is made with an “eating” apple. Cox’s Orange Pippin, Braeburn, Elstar, Jonagold, Granny Smith, or even Golden Delicious apples are all good for this.
Tarte tatins are a great way to showcase seasonal fruit from pears to plums, and there are lots of other fruits you can make into a tarte tatin. Additionally, you can also make a savory tarte tatin using onions, shallots or beets. Yum!
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My Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin takes the combination of the flakey buttery pastry with the sour apples and sweet caramel to make a dessert that really sings.
- 5 granny smith apples , peeled and cored and cute into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 3/4 cup (100g / 3½oz) caster sugar
- 1/4 cup (60g / 2½oz) butter
- 300 g (11oz) puff pastry rolled to a thickness of 3mm/⅛in, cut very slightly larger than the diameter of the tarte tin or pan
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Put the sugar and butter in your over safe pan over medium heat and let it sit for two minutes to allow the butter to melt and absorb the sugar.
- Over medium heat, cook the caramel until it turns to a pale blonde caramel (do not let it become too dark or the flavor will overpower the apples).
- Arrange the apple slices in a spiral pattern working from the outside of the pan to the center, packing them as tightly as possible. Once arranged carefully press them down with a spatula.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Lay the disc of puff pastry on the top of your arranged apples. Tuck the edges of the pastry into the dish and press the pastry down making sure all the apples are making contact with the puff pastry.
Prick a few holes in the puff pastry to let the steam out as the tarte tatin cooks.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown.
- Remove form the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes before turning out. Don't let it sit too long or the caramel with cool down and set which will make it harder to turn out of the pan.
Serve warm or cold with ice cream, creme fraiche, or whipped cream.
You can make this as big or as small as you wish, this version is designed for a 20cm/8inch pan.
I use an old handleless frying pan for this as it is heavy enough to take the caramel cooking, but a strong baking pan will be good too.
If you like a sharper flavour, use Granny Smiths, but be aware they will give out a bit more juice during cooking and will not cook down as well as the other varieties. This dish is best made a day in advance to allow the pectin in the apples to gel and bind them together. Keep it in the tin after it is cooked and reheat at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 20 minutes before serving.
Use my recipe for easy puff pastry which will yield great results.
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