Tarte Tatin (French Apple Tart)

Imagine going out to the pub and when you get home your new flatmate had left an exquisite homemade French apple pastry for you to sample. This was my introduction to Bernard’s cooking and to Tarte Tatin. Yum. I tweaked Bernard’s recipe a bit to cope with my 28 cm Tarte Tatin pan and with Galit’s desire for a higher proportion of fruit.

Tarte Tatin (French Apple Tart)
Delicious recipe intended for a 28cm Tarte Tatin pan 1.
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Ingredients for Pastry (Pâte Brisée)
  1. 1 cup Flour (brown and/or white - although brown flour won't make this recipe any more healthy)
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 25 g Butter
  4. 1 tablespoon Sugar (optional)
  5. Tiny bit of cold water (maybe 2-3 Tablespoons)
  6. [Optional] 1 egg yolk
Ingredients for the Tarte
  1. 1 cup Sugar (brown and/or white, although I prefer brown)
  2. 75 grams Butter in small pieces
  3. 6-8 Apples, peeled and sliced (optionally brushed with lemon juice to prevent browning) 2
Instructions for Pastry
  1. Mix butter into dry ingredients until looks like small bread crumbs.
  2. Slowly Add water (and optional egg yolk) until a non-sticky pastry is obtained (firm but neither sticky nor dry).
  3. Rest pastry at least 30 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Roll out (1 mm) to use on Tarte (see below)
Instructions for the Tarte
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200º C
  2. Layer sugar thickly over base of baking dish
  3. Dot butter thickly over sugar
  4. Layer sliced fruit over butter and sugar
  5. Cook on hob until butter and sugar start to caramelise (about 20- 30 min)
  6. Layer pastry3 over apples.
  7. Make holes in pastry to let steam off.
  8. Bake at 200º C for 20 minutes or until pastry has a touch of brown3.
  9. Remove from oven, put a serving plate over the top and flip the pan over so the Tarte falls onto the plate4.
Notes
  1. (1) Tarte Tatin is best done in a pan that can go on the hob then directly in the oven. You can buy Tarte Tatin pans (mine is a 28cm job), or use a heat resistant frying pan, or just use two pans and a bit of mucking around in the middle.
  2. (2) You can use other fruit, bananas are good. Bernard experimented a bit but I stick to apple. See also the note about quantities of fruit.
  3. (3) You can use commercial pastry. About 350 grams of Puff pastry, rolled out, can replace the Pâte Brisée. Certainly much easier. After assembling the tarte as usual bake at 220ºC for 15 minutes or until pastry has risen and is golden brown.
  4. (4) Don't leave it too long because the caramel will harden making the flipping exercise a tad difficult.
Balagan Recipes http://balaganrecipes.info/

Note on quantities

There is some disagreement amongst those dear to me about the exact proportion of pastry to fruit. Use the quantity of pastry as above, but vary the number of apples depending on your taste for fruitiness (see below). Personally I like all of the variations. Bernard says “If you put too much apple, it is not a tatin anymore, it is a caramelized apple pie, it is slightly different, but as good.”

Option Number of apples How prepared
Bernard style 1-4 apples depending on size of pan thinly sliced
Galit style for 28 cm pan 10-12 apples 7 cut in half, in one layer, with round side down, plus another 3-4 thinly sliced and layered on top of these. Alternatively halve all of them and pack them tightly standing on their sides.
Compromise for 28 cm pan 7-8 apples cut in half, in one layer with round side down

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