Autumn, as I may have mentioned once or twice previously, is my absolute favorite season of the year. I can’t quite believe it’s here again – looking back at the posts I wrote last October, it just doesn’t seem possible that a whole year has passed. But it does mean that once again, apples and warming spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg – can take priority in my baking. I’m going to make an apple tarte tatin.
Quick Apple tarte tatin recipe
To make the apple Tatin cake – one of the most delectable French desserts, you need to caramelize the fruit in butter and sugar before baking it with a layer of pastry crust on top. Once baked, the dessert is inverted onto a serving plate, revealing the caramelized fruit on top and the golden-brown pastry crust below.
There are many recipes for apple tarte Tatin online. However, if you are making it gluten-free, you may want to see the adapted pastry quantities I used (because gluten-free pastry does not stretch or roll out so well). In addition, there are a few other little adaptations, such as the technique I pinched from Michel Roux’s ‘Pastry’ for making the caramel.
My pastry recipe was a bit too crumbly this time – the perils of gluten-free – so it didn’t have a perfect puff. I guess I will just have to keep perfecting this one – and eat a lot of tarte Tatin along the way! Here is how to make apple tarte Tatin:
Apple Tarte Tatin
For the pastry
- 180 g gluten-free plain flour blend
- 180 g unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 70 ml water
For the apple and caramel topping
- 85 g caster sugar
- 40 g unsalted butter
- 8 medium-sized Braeburn apples or choose the best apple you can get
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- Make the rough puff pastry by rubbing together the flour and butter between your fingertips until just roughly combined – some small pieces of butter should remain.
- Add a little of the water at a time and draw lightly together until it forms a ball. Only add as much as you need. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
- Roll the dough into a long rectangle. Fold over top third and bottom third like an envelope, turn and roll out again. Repeat the folds, then re-wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for another 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, prepare the apples by peeling them, cutting them in half, and removing the cores. Cut two of the apples into smaller pieces.
- As you are preparing the apples, place the ones already peeled and cut into a bowl that has the lemon juice in it. Rub the apples in the juice to stop them going brown. Once all the apples are prepared, sprinkle over the ginger and cinnamon.
- Rub the butter into a heavy, oven-safe frying pan and cover with the sugar. Set over a medium heat on the hob and leave to caramelize. Keep an eye on it – as soon as it starts turning golden, remove it from the heat, otherwise, it will burn.
- Meanwhile, take the pastry and repeat the rolling out and folding, then roll out large enough to cover the pan.
- When the caramel is ready, place the apples into the pan, top sides down (remember it’s an ‘upside-down’ tart). Take care, because the caramel will be at scalding temperature, then cover with the pastry, tucking it in around the edges.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 25-35 mins, until the pastry is risen and golden.
- Turn out quickly onto a serving plate, again taking care with the hot caramel. Leave to cool slightly, then serve with creme fraiche or ice cream, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and ginger.
What is tarte tatin?
Tarte Tatin is renowned for its unique preparation and mouthwatering taste. This exquisite dessert is characterized by its upside-down presentation, where the pastry crust is nestled beneath a layer of caramelized fruit. Its origin can be traced back to the late 19th century in the Sologne region of France, specifically the Hotel Tatin.
The Tatin sisters, who ran a hotel, accidentally whipped up this dessert while rescuing overcooked apples. They covered them with pastry, baked it all, and then flipped it. Voila! A scrumptious discovery was born.
The classic tarte Tatin is typically made using apples, but you can try with different fruits like pears, peaches, and even savory ingredients like tomatoes. It’s all about experimenting and finding your flavor groove.
Tarte Tatin isn’t just food; it’s a piece of French history and culinary pride. It’s like a little piece of culture you can taste.