Tarte Tatin

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Yield: 10 to 12 servings

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This classic French harvest dessert features caramelized apples topped with your favorite flaky pastry crust, baked and then inverted for a beautiful presentation.

If you're wondering why this recipe doesn't match exactly the one printed in our Baker's Catalogue, well, there's more than one way to make a tarte tatin. The following method, while not traditional, yields a nicely crisp crust.

Read our blog about this tart, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Tarte Tatin

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in pats
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 pounds (about 9) firm baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced*; about 10 cups prepared apples
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider, or frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • *Thick slices work better in this dish; cut 8 slices per apple.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the crust: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter, working it in to make a coarse/crumbly mixture. Leave most of the butter in large, pea-sized pieces.

2) Stir in the sour cream; the dough won't be cohesive. Add enough cold water to bring it together, then turn it out onto a floured work surface.

3) Pat the dough into a rough log, and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle. Starting with a short side, fold the dough in three like a business letter. Flip the dough over, turn it 90°, and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle again. Fold it in three again. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.

4) Roll the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13" circle. Place it on the round flat bottom of a tarte tatin set; or on a 12" or 14" shallow pizza pan, or other flat baking sheet large enough to hold it. Make a short crimp around the edge, no more than 1/2" high.

5) Chill the crust for at least 30 minutes. This will prevent it from shrinking as it bakes. While it's chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F.

6) Prick the chilled crust all over, and bake it for about 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and set it aside while you prepare the filling.

7) To make the filling: Put the butter, sugar, corn syrup, water, and pinch of salt in the bottom of a burner-safe, oven-safe 11" round pan. A cast iron skillet or our stovetop-safe ceramic pan work well.

8) Over medium heat, melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, stirring gently.

9) When the butter and sugar have completely combined (wait for the butterfat around the edge of the pan to disappear, and the mixture to turn creamy as you stir it), stop stirring and allow the mixture to bubble. Cook, stirring occasionally, till it darkens slightly, to about the shade of a palomino pony: a light, golden tan. Turn off the heat; the mixture will continue to darken as it sits.

10) Peel and slice the apples, and arrange the slices in 2 layers in concentric circles in the syrup.

11) Bake the apples and syrup for about 35 minutes, until the apples are barely fork tender. Take the pan out of the oven.

12) Place the baked crust atop the apples, crimped side down. Then take the flat, round pan on which the crust baked, and put it atop the crust. See where we're going here? We're going to flip the whole thing over, so the crust is on the bottom, the apples and syrup on top.

13) Carefully turn the apples, crust, and pans upside down. Wait a few seconds, then lift off the top pan, the ones the apples and syrup were in; the apples should have settled onto the crust. If any have remained in the pan, use a fork to transfer them to the crust. If the apples on the crust have slid to one side, very gently rearrange them so they're in their original position, covering the crust completely.

14) Serve the tarte warm, with ice cream, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 02/05/2010
  • Jacqueline from College Station
  • This is a fantastic recipe, and it is within the realm of ANYONE to make! I cheat, though, but the flavor is still out of this world. And ignore when people criticize a recipe they have not yet baked, as this one need not be complex. I urge anyone to read the blog first, which is well worth the time. First, I cheat in that I don't invert any more. Heck, nothing but the pastry portion ever goes in the oven, the way I finally settled on making it. I make the pastry (divine, and perfect for this) exactly according to the instructions, except that I make several small ones instead of one big one. I tried several pan styles (all require greasing with Crisco to release) and today I am trying a large biscuit cutter. (I make this recipe a couple of times a week now.) While the pastry is baking, I make the sauce, using brown sugar instead of white and boiled cider instead of apple juice. When it gets to the thick stage, I add the apples straight to the saucepan. This will turn the sauce very thin almost instantly. I remove the apples with a slotted spoon when they are done to our taste, which is very firm. (They will continue cooking for a bit after removal from the pot.) I then continue to cook the sauce by itself until it is thick again. It tastes like intensely apple-y caramel. To serve, we scoop apples onto each tart round, then drizzle a generous amount of sauce over everything. We store all three parts separately, as mixing the apples and sauce will turn the apples mushy and the sauce watery very quickly. For leftovers, we reheat the pastry in a 350 degree oven (no set time) and the other stuff in the microwave (separately still). I don't know how long it keeps, since none has lasted longer than 48 hours at our house. This recipe is very versatile (read the blog for ideas), very much achievable, and is incredibly flavorful. I am especially glad now that I bought the apple peeler this past year, as it makes peeling all the apples much less onerous. (I also have the apple corer/slicer, which I prefer over the coring/slicing attachment on the peeler.)
  • star rating 01/16/2010
  • Lin from Oklahoma
  • Recommend with reservations. Whatever apples we used cast off a lot of juice. We ended up spooning the baked apples into a sieve and boiling down the juice to a thick syrup. Then we arranged the drained apples on the crust and spooned the syrup over. The crust was very good and crispy and the thickened syrup really made a nice apple-y flavor. We liked the tart very much and will make it again with different apples. But we're sorry we didn't get the nice carmalization we expected.
  • 01/15/2010
  • DR Katherine from Hawaii
  • Just read your lovely recipe for the tarte tatin, and I would add a suggestion. Tell your readers to let the apples and syrup cool off before they turn the filling over on top of the crust, or to invert it using caution. If there is any unabsorbed syrup in there, it will slide out and it sticks to skin like honey, possibly causing burns.
  • star rating 01/15/2010
  • Ron Magill from Salem, New Jersey
  • While it may taste good and look beautiful, this is one of the most complicated tart recipes I've ever considered... I would NOT elect to try this recipe.
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