This is another of those posts that has been planned for months and then forgotten about. I planned to be all organised and seasonal and post a recipe using apples in September but only remembered this Apple Tarte Tatin was in my drafts last weekend! Anyway, better late than never.
There are so many recipes for Apple Tarte Tatin already out there. You’d almost wonder if it is worth posting another. It is one of my favourite desserts with flaky buttery pastry, sweet apples and a rich caramel coating. I suppose the main reason I put this up is that when I started cooking caramel was something I was terrified of making. Now that I have done it plenty of times I have my own method of making it and no longer have any fear and so I wanted to show that it really is not that hard. I have also accidentally made caramel when reducing orange juice for a recipe but that’s a whole different story. Making caramel takes time, patience and a lot of care. Don’t try to make it when you can be distracted as it can burn easily or worse it can burn you.
Useful tips & links:
- There are a few tips I can give when making caramel but be aware it may take a few attempts for you to get the hang of it. If you take your time you should have no problems.
- Use a light coloured non stick pan so that you can see the colour of the caramel as it changes.
- Do not stir at any time as the sugar may crystalise and not dissolve properly. Instead, occasionally swirl the pan so that the sugar dissolves and browns evenly.
- Start on a low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved, you can then increase the heat to boil it to become a caramel.
- Never try to taste the caramel from the pan as it is boiling hot. If you want to check the colour or taste, use a spoon to put a little on a white plate so that you can see the colour and allow to cool before tasting.
- Once it starts to brown the caramel gets dark very quickly, the lighter the colour, the sweeter the caramel. I like a darker sauce myself so there is more flavour but if you take it too far it will taste bitter.
- For the apples I always use Granny Smith apples. Partly because that’s what I usually have and also because I like that they keep their shape when cooked. Use whatever apples you like yourself. I’ve said 4-5 as it really depends on the size of the apples. For instance in the Apple Tarte Tatin here the pan took 4¼ apples.
- I do not make my own puff pastry as a good shop bought all butter one works fine and saves a lot of time. Feel free to make your own.
- This is best eaten as soon as it is made but can be started ahead of time. Make it as far as starting to cook the apples and place the puff pastry on top. Keep it in the fridge and then allow it to come up to room temperature before baking.
- For another somewhat seasonal dessert have a look at my Apple and Blackberry Crumble or for a savoury take on a tarte tatin I have a Caramelised Onion Tarte Tatin.
- If you would like to try another method of making Apple Tarte Tatin have a look a Joanne’s version on Stitch and Bear.
Apple Tarte Tatin
- 125g of caster sugar
- 60ml or 4 tablespoons of water
- 40g of unsalted better
- A pinch of salt
- 4-5 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- 300g of good quality puff pastry
- First, make your caramel and while it is cooking preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6 and prepare your apples.
- Use an 8″/20cm ovenproof non stick skillet or shallow casserole dish that can also be used on the hob. Start making the caramel by gently melting the sugar and water over a low-medium heat. Do not stir, simply shake it every so often to dissolve and evenly cook the sugar.
- When the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid is clear, turn up the heat so that the caramel can boil. Keep a very close eye on it as it will darken quickly.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir through the butter and salt until the butter is fully melted. Be very careful, the caramel is extremely hot and will bubble once the butter hits the pan.
- Carefully arrange the apples cut side up in the pan as tightly packed as you can get them. Put the pan back on to a medium heat for 5 minutes to start the cooking of the apples.
- Roll out the puff pastry so that you can get a circle the same size as the top of the skillet. Gently lay the puff pastry over the apples and tuck in the edges. Pierce a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is risen, golden and cooked through. Take the pan out of the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
- Turn over your serving dish and holding it place over the pan while you flip it over. Don’t forget the handle will still be roasting hot. Give it a gentle shake and remove the pan, the tarte tatin should come out of it easily.
- Slice the Apple Tarte Tatin and serve immediately with cream or vanilla ice cream.