Tarte Tatin

This is one of my favorite dessert, even if I can’t dip it into my tea…

This upside down tart is rustic and beautiful. Everyone who tasted it absolutely loved it, but it is particularly special for people who don’t have a sweet tooth as it is not too sugary. The secret of this tart is to use Golden apples, yellow, chubby, juicy and sweet, not the small green ones found in supermarket. Organic shops and farmer markets is where you want to look for these apples.

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Ingredients for a 26cm cake tin:

  • 12 Golden apples peeled, cored and halved
  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla sugar
  • 4 tbsp of granulated sugar + a little for the pastry
  • 1 shop-bought shortcrust pastry with added sugar

Turn the oven on at 170C.

My pan is just big enough to pre-cook 6 halves at the same time. If you have a giant pan that can do them all at the same time then use the totality of the measure stated above, otherwise divide them equally for each pan-full. Melt a knob of butter in a pan under medium heat and brown the apples slightly on both sides. While cooking sprinkle the apples with vanilla sugar, sugar and add the lemon juice. Move the apples around to try not to burn them, especially on their bumpy side. When one load is done, place aside and proceed to the next batch until all the halves are done.

Build your tart by placing the first row of apples, bumpy side down, in the tin. Pack them well. Try to pick your best looking apples as this will be the top of your tart and it should look perfect. For the second row of apples, place them core down a bit like if you wanted to recreate the apple but move them slightly to the side so each halve overlap 2 halves  from the next row.

Roll your pastry to make a circle bigger than your cake tin and try to keep it quite thick. The odd circular shape and the thickness of the pastry will give your tarte tatin a unique rustic look. Place the pastry on top of your apples and tuck the sides in trying to enclose both rows of apples. Cook for 15 minutes then take the tart out and press lightly on the pastry with a plate. The apples are being steamed and are getting softer, by pressing on them you will flatten the pastry and the apples and create a nice flat top to your tarte tatin. Turn the oven down to 140C and cook the tart for an extra 30 minutes until the pastry is brown. Leave the tart to cool slightly but not too long otherwise the caramelised apples will stick to the bottom of the tin. Place a plate on top of the pastry, hold the plate in one hand and the tin in the other, take a deep breath and turn your tart over on the plate. Keep the tin on the tart and leave it to cool completely, then take it off and serve with vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.

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