JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Friday, February 05, 2010

Tarte tatin

I made Tarte tatin for pudding the other night; it's an indulgence, but an enjoyable one - Lucius said it was the best thing I'd ever cooked, and he was still talking about it the next day. It's very rich, so not for everyday .... but it's perfect for friends, as you have to make it early so that you don't burn your mouth on the caramel.

I followed the instructions on the box of the de Buyer tarte tatin tin I bought from Lakeland; so delicious there's no need to look for another recipe. By the way, you don't need to have a special tin for this: any heavy-duty oven-proof tin would do (a Le Creuset frying pan would be ideal, provided it doesn't have a wooden handle).

This is a very good way to use up slightly-past-their-best apples; I know we're supposed only to use the freshest produce we can, but we also need a few strategies to combat waste in the kitchen. My grandmothers used to cook up wrinkled apples, and so do I.

Tarte tatin

(it says for 2-4, but I'd say this would easily do 6)

20cm tin

shortcrust pastry (I used ready-rolled Dorset puff, a truly excellent product)
85g butter
200g granulated sugar
4-5 apples (800g is specified, probably unpeeled weight)
juice of half a lemon

Use the tin as a guide to cut a circle of pastry 2-3mm thick. Prick the pastry and put in the fridge.

Peel and core the apples. The recipe says you should end up with apple halves; that's too fiddly for me, and quarters looked fine in the finished dish. Drop them into a bowl of lemon juice as you work.

Put the butter and sugar into the pan, stirring constantly for about five minutes until the mixture starts to become golden. Arrange the apples over the caramel (pour in the lemon juice too) and keep cooking, without stirring, for 15 minutes.

Now give it five minutes in a very hot oven (250C is suggested; I used 220C on fan, and that was quite fierce enough).

Next, arrange the pastry over the apples, tucking the edges under. Put the tin back into the oven for 15 minutes (have a quick peek just before the end, you don't want the pastry to burn).

Cool the tin for 25 minutes before turning out onto a dish. It will come away easily and firmly in one piece, glued together by the caramel. Eat lukewarm.

The recipe ends with this instruction: Lovers of Tarte tatin savour it without whipped cream nor vanilla ice cream to appreciate its authentic taste. To be honest, anything with it would be overkill.


Sandy said...

I love Tarte Tatin too! I saw your photo and recognized it right away, even before reading the words. The flavor just can't be beat, unlike any other apple pie or dish.

For my recipe, I make it in a glass pie pan on the stovetop at first, then transfer to the oven.

Basically similar to your recipe. I tuck the top crust into the pan when baking, so that when inverted, it forms a "nest."

I make a crust of 1 cup plus 1 T flour, 7 T. unsalted butter (cut in smaller pieces), 1 1/2 T. sugar, and 2 large egg yolks.

Lay the apples (no smaller than quartered) in the syrup made of 1/2 cup sugar and 3T unsalted butter, melted in the glass pan.

Cook on stovetop 15 min. til apples golden and sugar is caramel. Don't stir or turn apples.

Put rolled out pastry on top, tuck in edges. Bake 400 degrees 20 min, reduce heat and bake at 350 for 20 min.

sara said...

wow, look at that, I'm already drooling, great color, looks delicious