Apple Tarte Tatin–Vintage Recipe Swap

by cakeduchess on May 2, 2011 · 53 comments


I wish I had a big and bountiful apple tree in my yard. I would be the happiest girl in the world. Instead of a bountiful apple tree, I have an amazing mango tree! I’m not complaining; I LOVE my mangos.
But let’s stick to the topic…APPLES! I was really excited when I saw this month’s Vintage Recipe Swap was a caramel apple recipe! Apples and caramel are a heavenly match!Smile


I realized I never posted my apple tarte tatin recipe. You’ve seen my Pear Tarte Tatin and my Banana Cranberry Tarte Tatin;  It was time to share the apple tarte tatin deliciousness!

What I love the most about a tarte tatin is that it does not have to be perfect. It is not a fussy or pretentious dessert, even though the name may imply otherwise. You don’t have to deal with beautiful piping or smooth ganache. It is a simple and rustic dessert. The crust may crumble a little. The apples may move around when you flip it. And it is ALL GOOD! Totally fine! You still will have a successful and exquisite dessert! Isn’t that good news?Smile

My brother had invited us over for a barbecue tonight. I always come through with a dessert for the kids. I’ve never arrived without one. appletarte2
And my sister-in-law would have been upset with me if I didn’t share an apple dessert. She saw I made the Salted Caramel Apple Pie a few weeks ago and was not happy that she didn’t get a try. I had to make it up with her somehow. This Apple Tarte Tatin was my peace offering!!
I’m going to share with you what my sister-in-law Cara had to say about it tonight at dinner,  “This is insanely good. CRAZY good. This part….this part right here of the crust that’s sticking to the dish. THAT’s the best part.” I nodded my head in agreement as I was eating my first bite. We served everyone a piece and we were enjoying our slices.

We both were staring intently at the gorgeous and caramel coated apples that were glistening in the soft light of her dining room. There were a few sweet pieces of apples stumbling over each other on the plate. Would we dare reach for the last pieces? Cara then said to me passionately, “You have to move the dish away from me or I’ll eat the rest of it.” I swiftly slid the dish across the left side of the table and pushed the dish far away from her erach. She giggled and thanked me. Then she looked kind of mad.

I ate another piece of crust she had her eye on. Buttery and full of sticky caramel goodness. I knew it was getting her upset. Cara then said, “You HAVE to take the rest of this home with you. Please don’t leave it or I’ll eat the rest of it.” I smiled and said, “No problem. Do you forgive me now?”
She smiled and said, “I do forgive you and this is better than any other apple dessert you’ve made. Seriously. It’s better than any of them. Except the salted caramel apple pie because I didn’t get to taste it and I don’t know for sure.”Winking smile
I used my pastry recipe for this tarte. It is the perfect texture. My mom noted that the dough didn’t get soggy and held well with the caramel (It’s not easy to get a compliment out of my momWinking smile. I have to stop talking about it because I will then go into the kitchen and eat the rest of this insanely amazing tarte tatin. I really hope you will give it a try and please don’t hesitate to use a ready made puff pastry dough with it…it will be just fine!Smile

This could happen:
*When you flip your tarte, the fruit may slide around. That is no problem. Reassemble them. No one will know!

Apple Tarte Tatin

For the pastry

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 tablespoon lard (or shortening)
3 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling
4-5 medium apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled, cored and quartered
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Pastry Directions:
In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and the lard (or shortening), and pulse until there are coarse crumbs. Add the water to the dough mixture a tablespoon at a time until when you pinch the dough, it sticks together. Take the dough out of the processor and form into a disc. Leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When you are ready to roll out, roll it out to about a 1/8-1/4 thickness and it should be about 11 inches in diameter for a 10 inch skillet. (I used an 8-inch cast iron skillet).I like to roll the dough out either between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. You can leave the dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Preparing the apples:
Preheat the oven to 415 F.

Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples in quarters. Add the apples in medium sized bowl with 1/4 cup of sugar,  and lemon juice.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a cast iron or ovenproof skillet. With a pastry brush, brush the sides of the skillet with some of the melted butter. Add the 1 cup of remaining sugar and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. It will turn golden brown and start to caramelize. As soon as it changes color, remove from the heat. Drain the apples and arrange the apples in a concentric pattern over the caramel mixture. *I started to lay the apple around the caramel the wrong way. After I took the photo I burned my fingers flipping them over.Smile)
Make sure you lay the cut side of the apples facing up. Sprinkle the cinnamon and ginger over the apples.
Return the pan to the stove top and cook over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep the temperature at medium high, letting the sugar boil and caramelize. The high heat will help the sugar caramelize and the apples to cook a little. Take care as it the caramel may splatter a little. You really can’t mess this up. Gently toss the apples around so they get nicely coated. You want it to reduce until the you have a thick buttery caramel sauce. This syrup will be very hot, so don’t be tempted to touch it for a taste.
Now it is time to lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges. I used a thin knife to tuck in the edges. Cut four 1/4 ” steam holes in the center.
Bake for about 25-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. You could bake over a cookie sheet in case you don’t want to mess up your oven with caramel drippings.

Run a knife along the edges of the cast iron to make sure that none of the puff pastry edges are sticking to the pan. Next, place a large plate or serving platter on top of the cast iron and, using two giant pot holders, invert quickly and carefully because the skillet weighs a ton and is burning hot. You will feel the skillet become lighter and know that it has inverted correctly. Life the cast iron and  don’t worry if any of the apples moved around or if some stuck to the pan. You could carefully remove them if they stuck to pan and reassemble. If they moved when you flipped the skillet, just simply place them the way they were before in the tarte.

Serve warm. It is even amazing at room temperature. Enjoy!

Please stop by Burwell’s General Store and see what the other members of the group created this month. Smile

See. I had to do it. I had to write this recipe out while there is still a slice left tempting me in the kitchen. Sorry I’m sort of rushing here. I have to go. I must have one more bite of the irrisistible crust. Or one more bite of a caramelized apple. I would share with you if I could!SmileApple desserts are my downfall!

Thank you for stopping by!! Hope you have a GREAT beginning of the week.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one } May 2, 2011 at 3:32 am

I love fruit desserts and old recipes :) this tarte tatin is BEAUTIFUL!
I got a notebook of my mom’s recipes from her teenage days, I should try one of them soon!


sliceofmylyfe May 2, 2011 at 3:44 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE! I love all apple desserts. This classic apple tart looks sensational.


Pegasuslegend May 2, 2011 at 3:48 am

wow thats an impressive apple dessert if I have ever seen one!


Marnely Rodriguez May 2, 2011 at 3:53 am

Loveee this! Those apples look sooooo deliciosas! :) thanks for sharing!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

This would not last in my kitchen! It looks fantastic!


Burwell General Store May 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

Lora, tarte tatin is my favorite! As always, I’m so glad to get to know you and read about your inspirations… I hope you’ll join in the next recipe swap!


Sanjeeta kk May 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I would be the second happiest after you, Lora, had the apple tree there in my garden too :) Love the gorgeous dessert. The filling looks so delightful and being an egg less one is making me more curious to bake it soon.


foodwanderings May 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Gorgeous! I wish I participated in the challenge but you produce such beautiful dessert so I just stay back and watch:). Good job as always girlie!


Jacqueline - The Dusty Baker May 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I want to eat this NOW! It looks so beautiful!


A Thought For Food May 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Apple desserts are also my downfall… maybe because it feels healthy, even if it’s loaded with butter and sugar (which it should be). This is just a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing!


Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

If it could land on my plate right now, I would gobbie it up, even though I have said sugar is my enemy just this morning. I have always wanted to make this so it is being bookmarked finally!


Becky May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

This is a gorgeous desert. It is like a caramel apple on a stick, without the stick. I’m bookmarking this one.


Amy May 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I am INSANELY jealous of your mango tree.


claire May 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

love your recipe remix! looks amazing… I am such a sucker for a tarte, plus fruity desserts are my favorite!

thanks for sharing!


Pacheco Patty May 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I love tarte tatin especially with a spoonful of creme fraiche on top, thanks for sharing your recipe. Have a great week;-)


Georgie May 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Beautiful, a lovely juicy scrumptious dessert!


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow May 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Yum! Looks delicious! And I am jealous of your mango tree!


Paula May 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Oh my goodness but those apples look mouth-watering. What a beautiful tatin you made!


Maris (In Good Taste) May 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This does look wonderful. I try to convince myself that I can have as much as I want because it’s fruit! I could do a number on this!


Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen May 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Looks great!! What a good idea for the swap, i love the simplicity.


Jennifurla May 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

it is to die for gorgeous, this is another thing I just must make soon.


The Mom Chef May 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Apple desserts are my downfall too, but adding caramel with them puts them over the edge to the obsession point. I agree with you and your sister; that sticky, caramelly bit that sticks to the plate; that’s the best.


Chef Dennis May 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

what an outstanding job on that gorgeous tarte tatin! I ate it everywhere I went the first time i went to Paris! Yours looks every bit as good! It seems we were on the same page for the swap, well they do say great minds think alike!
Have a happy day my friend!


Sandra May 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm

This looks very delicious, and do agree that caramel and apples just taste fantastic..match made in heaven!!!


Sandra May 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm

You had me hanging on every delicious, sugar coated, caramel drenched word. Super yummy recipe and pictures. We would’ve had to flip a coin for the last piece!


Monique May 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm

You’re crust looks amazing- great to have you in the swap!


Carolyn May 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I envy you your mango tree, when I lived in Barbados, we could just pick them off from anywhere! But that tart, oh my, it’s so beautiful, I can see how it would be the best apple dessert you’ve ever made.


Kathy May 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I would love to have a mango tree in my yard..I have no fruit trees because the deer eat the fruit. Your tarte tatin is beautiful! Gorgeous photos!!


Sprinkled with Flour May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

This tart looks so warm and cozy, perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and eaten while snuggled under a blanket :)


Ilke May 3, 2011 at 12:33 am

I would have been mad too if you were my sister-in-law and not sharing any dessert with me! :)
Lovely looking tart, It oozes goodness!


briarrose May 3, 2011 at 12:50 am

Look at all those heavenly apples…this looks insanely good.


Lo-mo May 3, 2011 at 1:33 am

oh my, this looks divine!!! I love the larger apple slices, seems more rustic and tooth sinking worthy!! Love the crust!!!!!


Happy When Not Hungry May 3, 2011 at 1:34 am

This tarte tatin looks gorgeous! My mouth is watering :-)

Reply May 3, 2011 at 1:39 am

WOW! Lora, this looks ammmmmazing!
I have an apple tree in my backyard – I’ll send you some apples in September if you send me some Mangos!! Deal?! :-)


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 3, 2011 at 1:52 am

omg lovely!


Maja May 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

Wonderful photos and an amazing dessert !


Peggy May 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

My fiance and I are all yin and yang when it come to fruit in desserts. Me? I love and prefer fruits in my dessert so I would love love love this. My fiance? Well… he doesn’t consider it dessert unless there’s chocolate included. Maybe I could make both worlds collide with this one? Or I could just make it as is and enjoy it all myself =)


Denise May 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm


This looks and sounds really GOOD!! You’re right…who doesn’t love apples and caramel? I love the idea of making the caramel right in the same pan with the apples! YUM!!!

Denise @ Creative Kitchen


Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking May 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Lora, your tarte tatin is so lovely and it looks absolutely delicious! I’ve always wanted to try this, and with your recipe, I definitely will. It looks too irresistible! Thanks for sharing. :) I hope you’re having a nice week so far.


Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan May 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm

This looks fantastic! I want to eat it with my hands! No time for forks, just give it to me!


Kimberly May 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

That looks amazing! I just love it, this is so something I would just sit and eat all by myself… haha!


I Sicilian May 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I have been so proud of my apple pie recipe, that was handed down from my 90 year old friend 20 years ago. She’s no longer alive now. As a result of the great success with this recipe I have never tried any other variety of apple desserts. Can’t wait to try this on my family. I have it in my schedule for next week. Love the way it looks and I imagine it’s just as delicious.


Boulder Locavore May 4, 2011 at 3:13 am

My mouth is literally watering now! I’m tardy to visit and check out the recipe swap post but worth the wait totally. Loved your dinner story too! I will have to give this a gluten free go of it. Still have apples from over wintering. Maybe my last root cellar hooray!


Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen May 4, 2011 at 5:21 am

oh what a lovely tarte! You and Dennis really know how to do things up right! And, I’m running right over to your salted caramel apple pie recipe- That sounds freaking amazing!!!! Hope all is well with you. PS- Love that you have a mango tree- what a gift!!


Tricia May 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm

This looks insanely good. Nice job and glad to have found you via our recipe swap as well!


franca May 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

ciao Lora,mi ha fatto molto piacere trovarti tra i miei amici,così sono venuta a visitare il tuo blog ed è fantastico,questo dolce di mele poi è più che buono ,io amo i dolci con le mele e presto proverò questa tua ricetta,leggo con piacere che ti ispiri anche a ricette italiane,sono contenta questo vuol dire che ami il mio paese,anche io amo gli Stati Uniti e spero un giorno di poterlo visitare,
ti mando un caro saluto e ora ti seguo anche io così non ti perdo,ciao kiss

Hello Lora, I was delighted to find you among my friends, so I came to visit your blog and it’s great, then this sweet apple is more than good, I love desserts with apples and soon you’ll try this recipe, I read with pleasure that will inspire even Italian recipes, this means that I’m glad you love my country, I also love the United States and hopefully one day be able to visit,
I send a warm greeting and now I also follow you so you will not lose, hello kiss
I translated with the translator online, I apologize for errors


Angela@RecipesFromMyMom May 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm

In the way that some people always have ripe bananas to bake banana bread, I always have apples that need to be used up in a cake or pie. I’ve got to try your tarte tatin with this week’s apples.


Lizzy May 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Lora, how I wish I was in your family!!! I’d love a slice or two of your gorgeous tarte tatin…who needs the rest of the meal! I haven’t made this in a LONG time, either…pear, but not apple. Now I have a deep yearning for it…and also for your salted caramel apple pie! Decisions, decisions…


Susan Lindquist May 5, 2011 at 1:11 am

I’m currently reading Molly Wizenberg’s memoir ‘A Homemade Life’ and just finished a chapter in which she shares her tarte tartin. I was trying to envision the flip with all that sweet gooey apple. I may have to try it after seeing your tutorial … when I’m feeling daring!

Yours is beautiful … I love the sheen of the apples’ glaze!


A SPICY PERSPECTIVE May 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

What a gorgeous treat! It’s perfect for a dinner party or brunch!


Foodiva May 6, 2011 at 12:46 am

You know, I’ve loved and drooled at all your magnificent baked goodies lately, and this apple tarte tartin is no different! Now, I’m waiting for that mango tree to produce fruits so you can share with us some mango delights…PS. I have a lovely mango tree too, so I know how you feel!


Magic of Spice May 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

This looks so delightful!


franca May 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

ciao Lora,volevo dirti che ho fatto la tua torta di mele caramellate ed è buonissima,l’ho fatta mangiare anche ad una mia amica ed è piaciuta anche a lei,ora se a te non dispiace metto la ricetta con la foto di quella che ho fatto io nel mio blog,naturalmente metterò il link al tuo blog dove c’è la ricetta originale,se non vuoi me lo fai sapere ed io la tolgo subito,
ti abbraccio

Hello Lora, I wanted to tell you I made ​​your caramel apple pie and is very good, I did eat with my friend and liked her too, now you do not mind if I put the recipe with the picture of what I did in my blog, of course I’ll put the link to your blog where there is the original recipe, if you do not you let me know and I will take it off immediately,
I embrace you


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