Tarte Tatin

"Eat me" and travel straight to France

“Eat me” and travel straight to France

There are two things I enjoy almost as much as being on holiday: the anticipation before the trip and the afterglow when you get back. One of my favourite ways to continue the adventure back at home, is to bring foodie souvenirs and  to cook typical local dishes.

And at the moment my mind is still in France: the fabulous winding roads and the beautiful villages of the Loire valley…the rilletes, pâtés, baguettes, croissants and glasses of Saumure-Champigny wine ….I could go on and on (although I don’t think I will try pig’s ear again….)

So this weekend I decided to bring a little of the Loire region into my kitchen by baking a Tarte Tatin; the well known upside-down apple cake from the Orleans region that achieved fame through the ladies Tatin.

There are many different variations for making Tarte Tatin. Some cooks just throw some caramel sauce and apples together, cover all with pastry and shove it in the oven. But I find that this just does not deliver those soft rich caramel flavoured apples that make for a spectacular Tart Tatin. So I take that little bit of extra time and cook the apples in the caramel sauce first. The secret is to keep spooning some sauce over the apples and to shuffle them around a little in the pan to ensure even cooking.
If you are in a rush you could save some time by using store-bought puff pasty. I do however prefer the crumble of a quick home-made short crust; especially when you are planning to eat the tart at room temperature.

I should warn you though: it really is very hard to resist the scent wafting out of your oven and allow the tart the time it needs to bake all the way through.

Bon appétit!

Amboise, a Loire town that makes your mouth water

Amboise, a Loire town that makes your mouth water

One 25cm tart

Caramel apples
6 apples (use a firm, fresh-tasting apple like Jonagold, Cox)
60 butter
40 sugar

90g butter (room temperature)
40g sugar
1 egg
Optional: 1 vanilla pod
150g all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt

  1. Use a mixer to beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add the egg and combine until pale.
  2. Quickly add the flour, salt and vanilla (if using).
  3. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
  4. Melt butter in a round 25cm oven-proof pan.
  5. Add sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has turned a light caramel colour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half length-ways.
  8. Place the apples in the pan, cut side up. Cook the apples on a medium-low heat for about 25 min or until the apples have softened and the sauce has browned a little. Spoon some caramel over the apples about every 5 minutes. If the outside apples are cooking slower than those at the center carefully shuffle them around.
  9. When the apples are cooked arrange them in neat circles. Turn off the heat.
  10. On a floured surface quickly roll the pastry into a disk that is a little larger than your pan. Fold the pastry over your rolling-pin and transfer to the pan.
  11. Use the blunt end of a knife handle to tuck the dough around the apples. Do not tuck the edges of the pastry in though, but allow them to curl up against the sides of the pan.
  12. Bake the tart 25-30 min or until the crust is golden.
  13. Allow the tart to cool at least 10 min before covering the pan with a plate and turning it out.


Tips & Variations

  • Ready-made puff pastry can be used instead of the home-made crust
  • the apples can be replaced by pears

Serve with

A dollop of ice cream, crème fraîche or vanilla yoghurt

111 IMG_2205

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you so much for your sweet compliment! So happy that you like it!

  1. Liz said:

    France is addictive, my daughter came back from Lyon two weeks ago and she is still rambling about the endless aisles of cheese in the French supermarkets, the baguettes and many other things. I’m almost sending her back there…now pigs ears is a new one to me, but I did see lots of pig trotters one time when I travelled to Accra, Ghana. They ate them for breakfast, and fish too. After spooning the sauce over the apples, that must taste delicious, I ate a lot of Jonagold there, but we don’t have them here. Whats the best substitute? This sounds like a recipe worth trying, the only problem is my to do list is growing longer, and longer. Anyway better late than never I shall still bookmark it. Thanks for stopping by and keep on writing the little stories. I read them and like them…I hope I will not be tempted to keep on opening the oven door, I have done that before and the cake flopped. Take care and have a wonderful week!

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you, that is so lovely to hear!

  2. Mouth…definitely watering and yes, I love a good tarte tatin! I agree that one of the nicest ways to relive a holiday is through cooking and it’s a truly delicious looking adventure you’ve taken us on, too…

    • afracooking said:

      And it is lovely comments like this that make you such a fabulous travel companion.

    • Lol, realised I had already commented before! Still very much like it though 😉

      • afracooking said:

        Haha, ach this tarte is so good it is bound to make people come back for seconds 😉

  3. ciao! yummmmmm…just the best. so glad you share your holiday experience.

    • afracooking said:

      Thanks for joining me on this journey! 🙂

  4. Karen said:

    I will definitely have to try your version this fall when I start picking all our apples.

    • afracooking said:

      Oh those beautiful trees of your must yield some gorgous apples; perfect for a tarte tatin

  5. Your apple tarte tatin looks just stunning & truly appetizing, my sweet friend! Yummmm! I only made savoury tarte tatins but never sweet one’s before!

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you!!! Now my fingers are itching to try a savoury version. Maybe tomatoes or beet root – can’t wait. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. My goodness how I love a tarte tatin! This makes me want to go home and make one tonight!

    • afracooking said:

      I would send you a piece over….but the whole pie tarte was gone within minutes 😉

  7. Oh, I’d love to try making one! Yours looks amazing!

    • afracooking said:

      Although it looks a little fussy, it really is such an easy recipe – and so fabulous, fabulous tasting!

  8. Awesome recipe and tempting photo! How can I resist the urge to try this? I am debating on whether to use store bought or home made pastry.

    • afracooking said:

      The pasty comes together in no time, so it really is not too much effort. At the same time a good-quality puff pastry works just as well. However I would then serve the tart hot (the home-made pastry tastes great at room temperature as well). If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  9. erika said:

    I LOVE tarte tatin and yours looks like an absolute beauty!!!

    • afracooking said:

      Aw,thank you so much! I have to say that it was gone within the blink of an eye!

  10. What a delicious recipe. I couldn’t agree more about the joy of recreating local dishes at home. It’s so much fun 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you for your compliment! Mmmm I could do with a piece myself right now!

  11. sheezamageeza said:

    You sum up the travel experience beautifully. I also love the anticipation and then the following food memories. We have started buying proper knives from places we visit to use in the kitchen on our return and it always makes me think of the food and places we spent time with. Isn’t the moment that you turn out a tarte like that just great? Beautiful.

    • afracooking said:

      I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your comment! I have just had no time for blogging lately. Thank you so much for your compliment – it really is great to read.

  12. This has been on my to-do for something now. Looks amazing! This time last year I was in France – Paris and Nice. You make me super nostalgic with this post of yours. GOt to your blog through Dimple’s blog. Have a good day.

    • afracooking said:

      Hello Anita, so sorry that it took me this long to reply to you. I am usually not that ‘rude’ 😉 but this week has been total madness. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Popping over to your blog directly.

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