Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recipe: Tarte Tatin

What do you do on a lazy Sunday evening when it gets dark too early and you've got a fridge full of delicious crispy apples?

Why, you make apple pie of course.

But not just any old apple pie, because these are Gala apples, too crunchy for baking. You make tarte tatin, an upside-down caramelized delight, found all over France. My dear host mother taught me to make this so many months ago in Switzerland. Having forgotten some of the finer points, what follows is a slightly different version from her creation. 

All you need is a 10-inch circle of puff pastry, 4 or 5 apples, half of a stick of butter, half of a cup of sugar and a sturdy 10-inch skillet. 

The hardest part is peeling, cutting, and coring the apples.
Literally where the expression "easy as pie" comes from. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Coat the skillet with the butter and evenly spread the sugar. Lay the apple slices in tight concentric circles, covering the whole surface. Let cook untouched for 10-12 minutes on medium heat, or until the juices are bubbling and a deep golden brown. It's ok if the juice colors unevenly. can smell those apples cooking.... délicieux

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and let cook for 20 minutes.
When it comes out, (and for pete's sake, use an oven mitt, don't just grab the pan handle like I did) place the pastry circle on top of the apples and put right back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffy and golden brown. Seriously, use the oven mitt.

Let stand for at least ten minutes in the pan.
Shake the skillet gently to loosen the caramel. Place a larger plate over the skillet and flip over, making sure you have a firm grip on the skillet and plate.

Well hey there good-looking.

Don't be upset if some of the apples have stuck to the pan, just pop them out and squish-em right in to the tart. And don't weep if there are blackened patches. I promise it doesn't affect the taste. This is a treat that tastes better than it photographs, trust me.

Now this is a 10 inch pie, so technically it should serve 8 reasonable people. 
But it's Sunday night and we haven't eaten a real dinner.
This is no time to be reasonable.

In this house, it was cut into fourths and devoured with relish. Not with pickle relish, obviously, figure of speech here. Actually with vanilla ice cream. But you know what I mean.
Four slices of pie = four happy people. 
And that works out just fine.

Hope you had an equally tasty weekend!


  1. YUMMM. why does Boston have to be so far away!?

  2. oh did you have to go and hit me with big old dose of nostalgia on this cold stormy evening in nz?!?! ......looks utterly delicious :)

  3. I am no fan of apple pie but this one looks tempting!

  4. WOW you did a good job on this one... I might just make one tomorrow ! :) miss ya, luv ya!


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