The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

An old favorite-Tarte Tatin

Franko's picture
Franko

An old favorite-Tarte Tatin

 

This is a Tarte Tatin made last weekend that I hadn't gotten around to posting till now. Tarte Tatin is a favourite of mine to make for it's delicious combination of baked apples and caramel, all sitting atop a base of buttery pastry. I've been making the tarte for many years, always using a shallow glass pie pan to bake it in. This time I decided to use an 8" cake pan to make it a bit higher to improve the overall appearance. Something else I altered from my usual method was to use an even richer caramel sauce for the coating rather than the simple sugar, water, and cream caramel sauce I've used in the past. The new sauce recipe is from Suas' "Advanced Bread & Pastry" which uses glucose, (I used corn syrup instead), sugar and water for the syrup, with the incorporation of butter and cream once the syrup has caramelized, a small change but with much better flavour and texture. The pastry used were some scraps of puff pastry I've had in the freezer for a few months. In fact it's having the scrap that quite often gives me the notion to make one of these in the first place as I can't think of a better way to use it up. If the scraps have been stacked together before freezing they should give adequate lift for this application. The apples and caramel tend to compact the pastry eventually anyway, so I've always thought using regular puff a bit wasteful for something like this, but no reason it couldn't be used. Once the sauce was made and had a chance to cool slightly it was poured into the pan and swirled around to coat the bottom and sides as evenly as possible, then thick slices of peeled Granny Smith apples were overlapped around the sides, interspersed with pieces of dried apricots to add some chew. The center of the pan was filled with more overlapping apple and apricot and a second layer was built on top of the first to fill the pan, pressing the apples down into the caramel. Out of personal preference I sprinkle some lightly toasted almond slices and cinnamon on top of the apples at this point for extra flavour and texture. The cold pastry was rolled out to slightly larger than the pan then draped over the apples, rolling the edge up all around and tucking it in around the sides. A steam vent was cut and the tart was baked at 350F/176C until the pastry was golden brown, then allowed to cool for 2 hours. After a 5-10 minute warming in a 200F/93C oven it was inverted onto a serving plate. If there is any residual sauce left on the plate it can be served with the tart immediately, or poured off and reserved to serve separately at a later time to keep the pastry from becoming soggy. Using the cake pan and the caramel sauce made a major improvement to the Tarte, resulting in a much better presentation and richer flavour compared to ones I've made previously.

Cheers,

Franko

Comments

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I love, love, love apple tarte tatin, and yours looks wonderful!  I'm intrigued to see the cake pan method work out- and so happy to think I don't need a special tatin pan.  Worthy use for puff pastry scraps, indeed. :)

Julie

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Julie,

Adding butter to the caramel sauce made a world of difference. I'd always just dotted the filling with butter before, but incorporating it directly into the sauce gives it better flavour, helping as well as when it comes time for the release. I used an un-sprayed, un-coated aluminum cake pan for the tart and it released easily, no worries about a special pan.

Thanks for you're coments Julie, very nice to hear from another Tarte Tatin lover!

Franko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but especially the apples interspersed with the apricots and almonds.  Next time we make puff this will be one of the deserts  Do you think an almond, cinnamon granola would work under the fruits like the sliced almonds and cinnamon?  Something crunchy is the right thing to put there.  You almost don't want to turn it over and crush the puff though :-)

Love your take on this nice Tarte Tatin.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks da-man,

The inclusion of dried apricots is from an episode of Jaques Pepin's old series on PBS I watched back in the 80's. It sounded like such a natural inclusion to the tart I started adding it as well. Now it's part of my own recipe, thanks to Mssr.Pepin. A lightly toasted granola or hard nut streusel of some kind sounds like a worthy addition if you want to add some crunch, but I prefer the melt in your mouth feel of a more traditional Tarte Tatin. The recipe can be altered or interpreted in a lot of different ways, Lord knows it has, but the basic idea of infusing apples with caramel, atop flaky pastry has stood the test of time for it's melting texture and flavour alone. Try a traditional one first, using just the caramel and apple and you may find it doesn't need anything more than that to make it one of the best tarts you've ever tasted. Less is often more when it comes to natural combinations such as the Tarte Tatin, but I'm intrigued to see your own take on this classic.

Many thanks, all the best,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

You do desserts right.   And main courses.   And breads.   Yum!  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

 Varda,

It's only a little sinful this time :^), thanks so much!

Franko 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Franko :^)
What a vision of caramel-apple-deliciousness!
This dessert is a very good memory for me - made it once, with this recipe, using Golden Delicious apples.
I bet the apricots add a really nice burst of flavor, and they add a lovely color, too.
Yum!!!
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Well Hi breadsong! :^)

This tart was caramel-apple deliciousness to the nth degree! Suas's caramel sauce and method make it very easy to put together if you have some puff on hand. Golden Delicious apples are my fave as well for the filling if they're somewhat tart and firm, but it seems such a small window in our market, for the sake of reliability I usually opt for the G-Smith.   Mssr. Pepin's idea to add apricots for colour contrast and texture gives the old classic a little more pizazz that adds a complimentary flavour and texture without detracting from the melting soft, caramel infused apple filling of a basic Tarte Tatin.

Many thanks breadsong, always a pleasure to hear from you

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

You know I was leafing through Richard Bertinet's new book 'Pastry' on the weekend and was eyeing off his Tarte Tatin recipe ... but after the money I threw down on 'The Taste of Bread' ... no new book for me anytime soon :)

This looks such a treat ... The dried apricot is a neat idea ... great match. What did you serve it with? I always imagine these with a fresh double cream or high quality vanilla ice-cream ... sigh ... yum!

Might go and have a cup of tea ... that might get me through to dinner :)

Cheers,
Phil

Franko's picture
Franko

I hear you on the book $'s brother ;^). It's a hefty one to wrangle into our budgets, but the Tarte Tatin is a cinch and no need for a new book. Basic puff pastry or blitz, corn syrup, sugar, cream, butter, apples, away you go. I know some folks will roll their eyes over this one but I like eating a slice of the tart with sharp cheddar cheese. Maybe it's the Canuck in me, but I really prefer the tang of an aged cheddar with the sweet, rich flavour of the Tarte. I wouldn't rule out whipped cream, a double cream, or high butter fat ice cream either, but given a choice..cheese please! Much as I love Apple Pie, it's been a 2nd favourite apple dessert of mine since discovering Tarte Tatin so many years ago.

Hope to see your own Tarte Tatin on these pages sometime Phil, I know it'll be smashing.

Cheers,

Franko

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've attempted this a few times with varying success. I do love it. In fact, on one trip to Paris, I did a sort of survey, having Tarte Tatin at every meal it appeared on the menu - about 5 times in 4 days, as I recall. I did the same for Tarte au Citron on another trip.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you David!

I think the key is getting the right proportion of caramel sauce for the filling so that the apples are fully infused and melting/poached in it, but with a bare minimum left over to keep the pastry as flaky as possible. I liken it to a baguette in that it has simple ingredients, basic procedure, but somewhat tight parameters to fall between for great results. This one is hands down the best I've made so far, but still not quite what I'm after. Using Suas' caramel formula, and particularly his procedure made a huge difference towards making a better Tarte Tatin than I've ever made before, so I'm guessing another 10-20 attempts at it and maybe I can put this one to bed...? :^)

Franko 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

This looks terrific, Franko!

I've never had the guts to attempt a tarte tatin myself, because I've been lacking a skillet that can go into the oven. You're using a cake pan here, that you fill with caramel sauce, apples and top with pastry? Do you cook the apples before you put them into the pan, or do they go in raw? Great use of puff pastry scraps or blitz puff pastry, Franko!

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks hansjoakim!

Very nice to hear from you, your work has often been an inspiration to me since joining the site.

Curiosity, and a desire for a better looking product was what prompted me to try using a cake pan over my usual glass pie pan. I know that a skillet of some kind was probably the original vessel for the tarte but I never had "the guts" to use one of my own either, always falling back on the glass pie pan. Suas' Caramel Sauce Formula (pg 543-Advanced Bread & Pastry) flows better and coats more evenly than any of the caramels or caramels sauces I've used in the past, I'm sure because of the 33% butter content. The apples went in raw and they were quite firm Granny Smiths. By the time the tart was finished cooking all the apples were fully cooked with the caramel sauce infused throughout.

Many thanks for the compliments hansjoakim!

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

to your taste buds.  Everything worked as planned and even better.  It does have a lovely presentation and I can only imagine the delicious flavor.  Sounds like you've hit home on this one.  I like the way the granny smith's cooked up just right and not overly sweet.   Using a cake pan worked great...who says you have to have one of those expensive specialty tart tatin pans.  I remember almost ordering one until I saw the price and I'd probably break it.

I like mine with just a drizzle of cream.  Cheese, I'm sure I would love too.  My taste buds have changed a lot.  It's just mom probably never heard of having it with apple pie ' which was as close to a TT as she ever came, so I didn't acquire the taste for it as much as cream.

Sylvia

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Sylvia,

Thanks so much! The Tarte turned out well, certainly better than previous versions. Sometimes just making a small change or two and all of a sudden you've got some progress to enjoy.

The cheese and apple pie/tart combination is something I picked up from my Dad. He always had a slice or two when  Mom made apple pie. He finally convinced me to try it one day and I've been pairing the two ever since, roughly 50 years by now. The tradition lives on.

Franko 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...except it took some doing to get the drool off the keyboard.

Very nice, Franko!

Next apple season, I'll try this with hard, tart Sierra Beauty apples (my favorite from California's apple country).

Thanks.

Glenn

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Glenn!

I understand completely, having been in same situation myself since joining this site. I'm not familiar with the Sierra Beauty, but it sounds like the right kind of apple to use for this tart.

Cheers,

Franko