Autumn Apple Tarte Tatin

I can’t believe it’s nearly October, and I haven’t posted a tarte tatin recipe. If you follow this blog, you well know that I love tarte tatins, the upside down-versions of fruit tarts – oodles of caramel required. In the late summer I make tarte tatins with stone fruit, practicing, anticipating the impending fall season with apples and pears. Apple Tarte Tatin is the quintessential version of this inverted squidgy pastry, named, as legend has it, for the French Tatin sisters who forgot to begin with the pastry when assembling their tart. No worries: they slapped it on top and improvised, as all good home cooks do. The result was an upside-down tart with caramelized fruit, poached in a puddle of butter and sugar. Now do you see why I love it?

Apple Tarte Tatin

Serve this rustic dessert garnished with a spoonful of very lightly sweetened whipped cream spiked with a splash of Calvados or Pear Brandy. Serves 8 to 10.

For the Sour Cream Pastry:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream

Apple Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in 4 pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and halved
1 egg, beaten to blend, for glaze

Prepare Pastry:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse once or twice to blend. Add butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add sour cream and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball, flatten and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Pastry may be made one day ahead; refrigerate until use. Pastry dough may also be frozen up to one month in freezer before rolling. Allow to defrost in refrigerator overnight.) Remove pastry from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling out.

Prepare Tart:
Arrange butter in the bottom of large oven-proof skillet with sloping sides (preferably cast iron). Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar evenly over butter and pan. Cook over medium heat until butter melts, the sugar is partially dissolved, and the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.  Arrange apples closely together, core-side up, in a circular pattern in the skillet. If necessary, cut remaining apples in quarters to fill in the spaces. Sprinkle apples with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set skillet over medium-high heat. Boil until a thick amber coloured syrup forms, turning the skillet to ensure even cooking, about 25 to 30 minutes.
While the apples are cooking on the stove, heat oven to 425 F. Roll out pastry on parchment paper to a round shape to fit size of skillet. Return the dough and parchment to refrigerator until apples are caramelized. When ready, remove skillet from heat. Working quickly, lay pastry over apple mixture and peel away the parchment (the heat from the apples will begin to melt the pastry). Cut 3-4 slits in pastry. Brush pastry with some of the egg glaze.

Bake tart until pastry is deep golden brown and firm when tapped, about 30 minutes. Remove tart from oven and cool on rack one minute. Gently loosen the edge of the pastry around the skillet with a thin spatula. Place a serving platter over the skillet. Quickly invert the tart onto the platter, using oven mitts. If any of the apples or caramel remain in the pan, scrape it out and arrange over the tart. Cool tart slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

If you like this, you might enjoy these recipes:
Apple Cranberry Crisp from TasteFood
Apple Honey Challah from Smitten Kitchen
Pear Clafoutis from TasteFood
Spiced Pear Muffins from the Kitchn

23 responses to “Autumn Apple Tarte Tatin

  1. eastofedencook

    What a splendid Tarte Tatin recipe! Simple, yet bursting with seasonal flavor. A stellar autumn treat!

  2. Would this work in an AllClad skillet? I haven’t tried a tatin in ages – your recipe looks terrific.

  3. Splendid! Your tatin looks extremely tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Gorgeous! Tarte Tatin is one of my very fav desserts.

  5. You have outdone yourself with this one, Lynda….totally drool worthy!

  6. Now that is what I call a perfect apple tarte tatin. I’ll have to go out and pick more apples as this sounds terrific.

  7. I adore apple tarte tatin, your looks absolutely fab!

  8. Thats my goto dessert, never leaves you or your guests dissapointed

  9. This looks so heavenly and I’m intrigued by the sour cream pastry. I don’t think I’ve ever tried using sour cream for pastry crust!

  10. I am aching to make a fall flavor tatin. If only the weather would change. GREG

  11. Did you hear me sigh with pleasure? This is stunning and I want a slice today. I haven’t used sour cream in a crust, so look forward to trying it. Hooray for apple season!

  12. Very interesting story if the tart’s origin, and yes, you are right that caramel, apple and pastry are delish.

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  14. i just made this. ate i just ate almost a quarter of it (with my 3 year old) excellent recipe. i didn’t pay too much attention to the part about making sure to cook it evenly, and i ended up burning about a quarter of the apple mixture… but i am definitely going to perfect my cooking technique and bring this to thanksgiving. thanks again for the post. it’s a great great recipe!!!!

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  16. absolutely delicious, made one for thanksgiving (using pink ladies, fuji, and granny smith), and fell in love. Topped it with a nutmeg/cinnamon/clove spiced whipped cream, and some candied pecans. Going to be making this a lot, the S.O. loves apples.

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