Tarte Tatin- For the love of apples…

The tatin is an upside-down apple tart in which apples would be caramelized and the dough comes on the top..
The story goes like this: Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, 2 sisters used to run a Hotel around 1898. Stephanie was planning to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert.

There is a dedicated website (that’s pretty serious folks) for the Tatin Tart..
The tatin is an upside-down apple tart in which apples would be caramelized and the dough comes on the top..

I like the version with shortcrust dough and not the puff pastry…

I also like to make this recipe in 2 steps: caramelize the apples separately in a pan , then add them in a 24 cm pie dish (glass preferably) and arrange the apples in the dish, put the dough on the top and bake the whole thing in the oven. Some people go for 1 step and “caramelize” the apples in the oven while the dough is also baking. Besides, this is close to the genuine recipe as per the dedicated website.

It’a better to control the phase of “caramelization” and I find that this gives better results as far as the taste is concerned.
My apples are not on the right side..this was done in a bad day..sorry..

for 6 to 8 persons

– 1 Kg of good golden apples, peeled cored and halved
– 1 lemon juice
– 150g unsalted butter
– 125g granulated sugar
– 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
– Shortcrust dough (or puff pastry rool)
– Vanilla Ice cream or whipped cream for serving


Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C.

In a large bowl toss the apple halves with the lemon juice and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 24 cm skillet (that goes to the oven) over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar melts and then caramelizes to an amber color, swirling the skillet if necessary for even browning. Avoid the temptation of stirring or sugar may crystalize. (you might do this step in a 24 cm pie dish: butter it all with the borders, sprinkle sugar all over the buttered area)

Remove the skillet from the heat.

Arrange a tight layer of apples, rounded sides down, over the caramel.

Cut the remaining apple halves in half so that you now have apple quarters. Arrange these over the apple halves, cut sides down, arranging apples neatly.
Cover the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Cook over medium-low heat until the apples are almost tender and have released their juices, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium and cook until the juices have reduced and are very thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Roll a circle of pastry over the apples. Fold it in at the edges.

Make 3 or 4 holes with a knife and 1 in the middle to let steam out when baking.

Bake for 20 minutes and then let it rest for 15 minutes.

Take a serving plate and turn it over.

Always serve luckwarm. If made in advance and need to serve way later, warm it in a medium heated oven and avoid warming it in a microwave..

You might serve with whipped cream or vanilla beans ice cream on the side and not on the top so It does keep the caramelized taste and the texture (serving on the side keeps the flavors safe).
Try pears, pears and apples, banana, they’re as good as the apple tart.
There are also savory options with tomatoes which I love.

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