What I love the most about a tarte tatin is that it does not have to be perfect. It is not a fussy or pretentious dessert, even though the name may imply otherwise. You don’t have to deal with beautiful piping or smooth ganache. It is a simple and rustic dessert. The crust may crumble a little. The apples may move around when you flip it. And it is ALL GOOD! Totally fine! You still will have a successful and exquisite dessert! Isn’t that good news?
We both were staring intently at the gorgeous and caramel coated apples that were glistening in the soft light of her dining room. There were a few sweet pieces of apples stumbling over each other on the plate. Would we dare reach for the last pieces? Cara then said to me passionately, “You have to move the dish away from me or I’ll eat the rest of it.” I swiftly slid the dish across the left side of the table and pushed the dish far away from her erach. She giggled and thanked me. Then she looked kind of mad.
This could happen:
*When you flip your tarte, the fruit may slide around. That is no problem. Reassemble them. No one will know!
Apple Tarte Tatin
For the pastry
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 tablespoon lard (or shortening)
3 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
4-5 medium apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled, cored and quartered
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and the lard (or shortening), and pulse until there are coarse crumbs. Add the water to the dough mixture a tablespoon at a time until when you pinch the dough, it sticks together. Take the dough out of the processor and form into a disc. Leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
When you are ready to roll out, roll it out to about a 1/8-1/4 thickness and it should be about 11 inches in diameter for a 10 inch skillet. (I used an 8-inch cast iron skillet).I like to roll the dough out either between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. You can leave the dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Preparing the apples:
Preheat the oven to 415 F.
Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples in quarters. Add the apples in medium sized bowl with 1/4 cup of sugar, and lemon juice.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a cast iron or ovenproof skillet. With a pastry brush, brush the sides of the skillet with some of the melted butter. Add the 1 cup of remaining sugar and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. It will turn golden brown and start to caramelize. As soon as it changes color, remove from the heat. Drain the apples and arrange the apples in a concentric pattern over the caramel mixture. *I started to lay the apple around the caramel the wrong way. After I took the photo I burned my fingers flipping them over.)
Make sure you lay the cut side of the apples facing up. Sprinkle the cinnamon and ginger over the apples.
Return the pan to the stove top and cook over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep the temperature at medium high, letting the sugar boil and caramelize. The high heat will help the sugar caramelize and the apples to cook a little. Take care as it the caramel may splatter a little. You really can’t mess this up. Gently toss the apples around so they get nicely coated. You want it to reduce until the you have a thick buttery caramel sauce. This syrup will be very hot, so don’t be tempted to touch it for a taste.
Now it is time to lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges. I used a thin knife to tuck in the edges. Cut four 1/4 ” steam holes in the center.
Bake for about 25-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. You could bake over a cookie sheet in case you don’t want to mess up your oven with caramel drippings.
Run a knife along the edges of the cast iron to make sure that none of the puff pastry edges are sticking to the pan. Next, place a large plate or serving platter on top of the cast iron and, using two giant pot holders, invert quickly and carefully because the skillet weighs a ton and is burning hot. You will feel the skillet become lighter and know that it has inverted correctly. Life the cast iron and don’t worry if any of the apples moved around or if some stuck to the pan. You could carefully remove them if they stuck to pan and reassemble. If they moved when you flipped the skillet, just simply place them the way they were before in the tarte.
Serve warm. It is even amazing at room temperature. Enjoy!
Please stop by Burwell’s General Store and see what the other members of the group created this month.
See. I had to do it. I had to write this recipe out while there is still a slice left tempting me in the kitchen. Sorry I’m sort of rushing here. I have to go. I must have one more bite of the irrisistible crust. Or one more bite of a caramelized apple. I would share with you if I could!Apple desserts are my downfall!
Thank you for stopping by!! Hope you have a GREAT beginning of the week.