Tarte Tatin

This pie, my Daring Bakers club challenge for the month, is upside down. Tarte Tatin was the delightful discovery of an overworked French woman who meant to make a regular apple pie but left the apples too long in the butter and sugar, was running short on time, so chose to throw the crust on top rather than start over or forego dessert. She put the whole thing back in the oven, baked it upside down, turned it over for her guests, and Voila—totally a scene from my own life, ever a haphazard spackle job—but with a gem of a result.

Sometimes haste, cousin to necessity, is also mother to invention. When your world is upside down from The Busyness, perhaps your pies should be also. To all you who are harried by the pace of life—may you flop out Tatins instead of skipping desserts.

tarte tatin fine

Tarte Tatin

Adapted from Baking Illustrated

Tart dough

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup powdered sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon table salt

1 large egg, chilled

Tart Filling

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

3⁄4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for work surfaces

6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths

Cut the first stick of butter into small chunks and chill thoroughly.

Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in the food processor. Add the chilled butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the egg and mix until the dough comes together. Turn out onto the counter and shape into a disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining stick of butter in 9-inch skillet. Remove from heat and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom. Add the apple slices in a rosette pattern and return the skillet to the heat.

tarte tatin apples

Increase the heat to medium high and cook for 10 minutes, until caramel turns a rich brown. With a fork, turn the apples to caramelize the other cut edge, and continue to saute until slightly transparent, about five minutes. Set aside and preheat the oven to 375°.

Unwrap the chilled dough and sprinkle generously with flour. Gently roll into a ten to twelve inch circle. Carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the top of the caramelized apples.

tarte tatin dough

Tuck the crust around the edges of the skillet to seal in the apples, folding the excess over.

tarte tatin dough tucked

Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let the skillet cool for an additional twenty minutes before carefully running a knife around the edge to loosen the pastry.

tarte tatin baked

Place the serving plate over the top of the skillet, invert and remove the skillet. Gently rearrange any apples stuck to the skillet back into the pastry. Serve the Tarte Tatin warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

tarte tatin done tarte tatin slice close up

Haiku #83 (Mar 24)

The same droplets that

rose as steam this morn froze to

fall again on us.

Haiku #84 (Mar 25)

Skin is merely the

emperor’s new clothes to a


Haiku #85 (Mar 26)

Branches are how trees

Say “Imma get mine, if it

takes a hundred mes.”

5 thoughts on “Tarte Tatin

  1. Your tarte tatin looks yummy! How did you like the pastry that you used. I noticed it was different from the rough puff recipe that Korena gave us. And you are right, if only all of our cooking disaster could end up this good!

    1. You caught me! I was worried that Korena’s rough pastry dough wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the caramelized apple contents when flipped back around, so I opted to do an egg pastry for extra strength. I also wanted a little sweeter dough, with confectioners sugar that dissolves better than granulated. The crust was flaky AND strong! Best of both worlds! Thanks for asking!

  2. Beautiful Tarte Tatin and I love the pastry variation. Having cooked mine in a cast iron pan as well, I think we get extra points for flipping a super heavy pan filled with hot caramel and errant apples!!

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