It may sound fancy, but put simply, tarte tatin is just an upside-down apple tart! Made with flaky pastry and caramelized baked apples, this recipe is the perfect treat to show mom you love her this Mother’s Day!
- 5 Each (1200g) honey crisp apples
- 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 vanilla bean
- Small piece (1.5g) whole cinnamon stick
- 1 cup (250g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon (10g) glucose / corn syrup / golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon (18g) unsalted butter
- 1 (20g) egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
Pastry Dough Ingredients
- 5.5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter
- ¾ Cup (110g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (7.5g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (0.6g) kosher salt
- ½ cup ice water
Making the dough
- Want to skip this step? You can! Just use one sheet of prepared puff pastry, thawed.
- To make the pastry, your butter needs to be frozen. Wrap 5 ½ tablespoons (75g) of unsalted butter in foil and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- While butter is freezing, sift ¾ cup (110g) of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons (7.5g) granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon (0.6g) kosher salt into a large bowl.
- Take butter out of the freezer. Remove the foil, or simply fold it back and hold it in the foil, which will protect the butter from the warmth of your hands.
- Using the coarse side of a cheese grater, grate the butter into the flour bowl. (Tip: you can dip the edge of the butter into the flour a few times to make it easier to grate.) You should end up with a large pile of grated butter sitting in the middle of the flour.
- Use a palette knife to distribute the gratings into the flour - try to coat all the pieces of butter with flour. (Do not use your hands as you may melt the butter.)
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of cold water into the bowl and continue mixing with the palette knife, adding another 1 tablespoon of water. Start to bring the whole thing together with the palette knife, and finish off using your hands.
- If you need a bit more moisture, dab on a bit of water with your fingers – just remember that the dough should come together in such a way that it leaves the bowl fairly clean, with no bits of loose butter or flour anywhere.
- Place the ball of dough in a plastic bag. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a circle with approximately a 10 inch diameter.
- Place dough back in the fridge.
Cooking the Apples
- In a deep pot add ½ cup (125g) sugar, ¼ vanilla bean, a small piece (1.5g) of whole cinnamon, ½ a lemon and enough cold water to cover the whole lemon.
- Peel the apples and quarter the apples, removing the core. You can use a melon baller to make this step easier!
- Cut each quarter into 4 thick slices.
- Place apples in the lemon water. Make sure there is enough cold water to cover them fully.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Stir and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender - a knife should easily cut into the apple slices.
- Drain the apples and allow to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes. (Tip: keep the liquid, it can be used as a sweet drink, poaching liquid or you can add salt and turn into a great brine for pork or fish!)
Making the Caramel
- Place a 10 inch carbon steel pan on medium heat. (Want to learn more about cast iron versus carbon steel? See here: https://www.lodgemfg.com/cast-iron-vs-carbon-steel)
- Add ½ cup (125g) granulated sugar, ⅛ cup (25g) water and ½ tablespoon (10g) of syrup.
- Gently stir with a wooden spoon, avoiding big movements.
- Once the sugar has melted fully, cook until the caramel reaches 350F or reaches a dark, reddish-brown color.
- Remove from heat and immediately add 1 tablespoon (18g) unsalted butter and ½ a vanilla bean.
- Gently work in the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Put the pan to one side.
Assembling and baking
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Arrange the apple slices skin side down on top of the caramel. Place in concentric circles on the bottom of the pan, pressing the apples tightly against each other.
- Place the pan back on a medium heat until the caramel begins to bubble.
- Place the pan on a sheet tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and, using another pan, press down on the apples. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Repeat the process once more and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and turn it up to 400F.
- Whisk together 1 egg yolk (20g), ¼ teaspoon (1g) of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon (20g) of water.
- Spread the dough on top of the apples, using a fork to press the dough over the edges.
- Brush with the egg mixture over the top of the dough.
- Place back in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
- Run a paring knife around the outer edge of the tatin to gently release the dough and apples from the side of the pan.
- Using a plate with a circumference larger than your pan, place the plate on top. Holding the plate firmly to the pan with a kitchen towel, quickly and carefully invert to flip the tatin upside down, onto the plate.
- Serve with plenty of whipped cream, gelato or ice cream!
Save those apple peels! You can dip them in your sugar lemon water and place in a dehydrator to make apple crisps.