Easy. Scrumptious. Beautiful. Making tarte Tatin requires no special equipment. Just a frying pan that can go into the oven (meaning, no plastic parts) — a cast iron pan is traditional but my only cast iron pan is too large so I used a stainless steel frying pan.
Such a lovely dessert for the holidays. Would you believe that it originated from a baking accident back in 1898? Not an ideal Christmas gift though as the Tarte Tatin is best served within minutes after baking with whipped cream or with vanilla ice cream.
Tarte Tatin (upside down apple tart)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Make the crust but do not roll out yet. Wrap the dough in cling film and keep in the fridge.
- In an eight-inch oven-proof frying pan, boil the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Without stirring to avoid the formation of crystals (swirling is allowed), boil over medium-high to high heat until thickened and amber colored. Arrange the apples, flat side down, to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder on the tops of the apple halves. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about seven minutes. Flip the apples over and cook for another two minutes.
- Take the crust dough out of the fridge. Roll between two sheets of non-stick baking paper (see illustrated instruction) to form a circle that is about ten inches in diameter or two inches large than the rim of the frying pan in which you are going to bake the tart.
- Take your pan with the apple filling. Take the butter, cut into small pieces and scatter over the apples.
- Remove the top sheet of paper, lift the crust by holding the corners of the bottom paper then invert onto the pan. Peel off the paper. Push the edges of the dough into the pan. Fold any excess. DO NOT cover the rim of the pan. All of the crust should be inside the pan. It’s like forming an inverted shallow bowl over the apples.
- Bake the Tarte Tatin for 25 minutes.
- Some of the caramelized sugar may come up but do not worry. That’s part of the beauty of this dessert. The sugar touches the dough and the edges turn a wonderful golden brown.
- Take a plate that is larger than the pan. Place the plate over the pan then flip the pan upside-down to invert the tart onto the plate. You have to do this while the tart is hot because if it starts to cool, the caramelized sugar with harden and the apples will get stuck on the bottom of the pan.
- See the edges of the crust where the caramelized sugar has glazed it?
- Cut the tart into six portions. Dollop with whipped cream or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.