Tarte Tatin: Caramelized Upside-Down Apple Tart Recipe
Getting Ahead: The tart can be baked 6-8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Warm the tart briefly on top of the stove and unmould it just before serving. A note from Eatopic: “Crème fraîche is the ideal accompaniment for the caramel-steeped fruit tart. If you are baking ahead, make the crème fraîche at the same time, because its flavour takes 6-8 hours to develop” ORDER OF WORK:
- 14-16 apples, total weight about 2.4 kg (5 lb)
- 1 lemon
- 4 oz (125 g) unsalted butter
- 6 1/2 oz (200 g) caster sugar
- Crème fraîche for serving
- #For the Pastry Dough#
- 21/2 oz (75 g) unsalted butter
- 6 oz (175 g) plain flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 11/2 tbsp (22.5 ml) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) water, more if needed
- #Tarte Tatin is named after two impoverished gentlewomen, from the French region of Sologne, who earned their living by baking their father’s favourite apple tart. The secret of this upside-down tart lies in cooking the apples in the caramel itself, so it flavours deep inside the fruit. It is delicious served warm with crème fraîche. (Click here to see the technique)# Make the Pastry Dough: Using the rolling pin, pound the butter to soften it slightly. Sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Put the egg yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in the center of the well, then add the softened butter and the water.
- Using your fingertips, work the ingredients in the well until thoroughly mixed.
- Draw the flour into the well using the pastry scraper. With your fingers, work the flour into the other ingredients until coarse crumbs form. If they seem dry, add a little more water. Press the dough into a ball.
- Lightly flour the work surface, then begin blending the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. “Heel of hand only is used for blending dough”
- Gather up the dough with the pastry scraper and blend until it is very smooth and peels away from the work surface in one piece, 1-2 minutes. Shape into a ball, wrap it lightly, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. #Prepare and Caramelize the Apples# With the vegetable peeler or a small knife, carefully remove the outer peel from the apples in thin lengthwise strips. Halve and core the apples.
- Cut the lemon in half and rub the apples all over with the cut lemon to prevent discoloration.
- Melt the butter in the hying pan. Add the sugar. “Pour sugar into melted butter all at once ” “When butter starts to sizzle, add sugar”
- Cook over medium heat; stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon, until caramelized to a deep golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to tepid. TAKE CARE: Cook gently once the caramel starts to colour because it bums easily.”
- Arrange the apple halves upright in concentric circles to fill the pan. Prop up the first apple with the wooden spoon, then lean the others against it The apples will shrink during cooking, so pack them tightly here. “Arrange second circle of apple halves facing in opposite direction to first” “Apple halves fit snugly into each other in pan.”
- Cook the apples over high heat until caramelized, 15-25 minutes. Turn once to caramelize on both sides. “Use 2-pronged fork to turn apples carefully” A note from Eatopic: “ Cooking time depends on the apples you use. When cooked they should be tender but still retain their shape, and very little juice should remain.”
- When the apples are completely caramelized, take the pan from the heat and let cool 10-15 minutes. Heat the oven to 190° C (375° F, Gas 5). #Bake the Tart; Unmould# Roll out the pastry dough to a round about 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than the frying pan. Roll up the dough around the rolling pin.
- Drape the dough over the pan. Tuck the edges of the dough down around the apples. Bake the tart in the heated oven until the crust is golden brown, 20-25 minutes. “Roll up dough around pin, then unroll over frying pan”
- Let the tart cool to tepid in the pan, then unmould it: set a serving plate on top of the pan, hold firmly together, and invert the two. If any apples stick to the pan, remove and replace on the tart. Spoon some caramel from the plate over the apples. Serve with crème fraîche. “Lift pan away carefully so arrangement of apples is not disturbed” #TO SERVE# “Caramel seeps through tart and forms a pool on plate” “Apples are coated with caramel to give them a golden glow.”