Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Autumn pudding perfection: Tarte tatin

on October 26, 2011

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For some reason, I’ve always thought tarte tatin was hard to make. Maybe it’s because it involves pastry, or maybe it’s because it’s French….I don’t know. But this is quite possibly one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever done for a tarte, and because it’s cooked upside down, the pastry is lovely and crisp instead of soggy like I seem to end up with for most of my pies!

It is a stunning pudding, so simple to make, and tastes like toffee apples for grown ups. Beautiful. And great with either creme fraiche, custard or ice cream.

I was inspired by this blog on the Guardian online http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/oct/20/how-to-cook-perfect-tarte-tatin?newsfeed=true

And so I tried it, more or less to the recipe, although what I changed wasn’t worth it and the tarte suffered slightly for it. But regardless was still delicious. So instead of reproducing what I did, I will reproduce this recipe with my own notes on it.

First of all, I used a medium sized non-stick frying pan – it’s about 26cm diameter. This is perfect for a 4 person tarte and for the quantities in this recipe.

The apples shrink as they dry out in the fridge. I made the mistake of doing the number of apples that fit in the pan before they’d dried out and didn’t have enough when it came to baking and so ended up putting in some that hadn’t dried out, making the sauce too runny when it came out the oven.

I didn’t dry them out overnight – I think they had about 5 hours. I think this is ok – if you forget (like I did) to do it the night before, so long as you give them several hours on the day you’re probably ok. And at the very worst, just let the tarte cool somewhat before serving if it’s runny.

If you have a corer, this is invaluable, I would imagine. Coring the apples whilst keeping the halves whole was the hardest part to do and at times I wasn’t successful. This is fine – the bits go in the gaps, but a corer would make it a lot easier.

I found it very easy to caramelise the sauce, and found it went very quickly from fudgy to almost burnt. It did taste slightly burnt in taste (an aftertaste) but I quite liked this – it counteracted the sweetness of the apples nicely. So I wouldn’t worry too much about this – I go with more caramelised than less caramelised.

If you use a vegetable spread instead of butter it won’t be as pleasingly rich, but it is a fantastic vegan dessert.

Lastly, I used ready rolled pastry and this helped to make the recipe both quick and very easy to do.

I used ready rolled pastry – this made it a very simple and quick dessert to make. By all means make your own pastry but you’ll need to allow the time. Personally, when it’s so good from the supermarket, I can’t be bothered!

Tarte Tatin

Serves 4

  • 7 apples (I didn’t do the mix as the recipe stated and I think my apples were fine – they were cox’s but any apples I think will do), peeled, cored and halved.
  • 200g white sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • About 175g ready rolled shortcrust pastry
  1. Prepare the apples and leave uncovered in the fridge for several hours or preferably overnight to dry out.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  3. Roll out the pastry and cut a crust from it, just larger than the frying pan you’re using. Set aside (I rolled it back up in the greaseproof paper and stuck it back in the fridge)
  4. Put the sugar with the water in the frying pan and allow it to soak for a couple of minutes.
  5. Put on a medium heat and stirring occasionally, caramelise the sugar to a fudgy golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and add the butter.
  6. When the butter has melted, place the apples in the pan, curved side down (so the cored side is showing – remember the pie is upside down for cooking).
  7. Carefully place the pastry over the top of the pan (remember it’s very hot!) and tuck in the sides.
  8. Shove the whole thing in the oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden.
  9. When it’s cooked, remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  10. Then carefully place a plate on top and invert the whole thing onto the plate
  11. Serve immediately with creme fraiche, custard or ice cream
  12. Enjoy the beautiful simple autumnal-ness of it!

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2 responses to “Autumn pudding perfection: Tarte tatin

  1. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    This looks so fancy! I bet it tastes delicious. I’ve made taste tatin a couple times, but it was several years ago.

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