Apple Tarte Tatin 8.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Feb 12, 2020

After testing this recipe, food writer Daniela Galarza says Golden Delicious apples turned out the best tarte tatin, although Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and Gala also work.

If any apples stick to the pan after it is inverted, use a spatula or spoon to gently retrieve them and add them to any spare areas on the tart.

Make Ahead: The apples can be cooked on the stove top and then cooled, covered and refrigerated in the pan for up to 2 days. Rewarm over low heat before proceeding with the recipe.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

  • 1 recipe pie dough, homemade or store-bought (see related recipe)
  • 8 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1800 grams or 4 pounds)
  • 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, creme anglaise or caramel sauce for serving (optional)

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Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Take the skillet you will cook the apples in and place it upside down on the pastry, then use a sharp knife to cut around the perimeter of the skillet. Refrigerate the circle of dough until ready to use.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apples. Cut the apples in half from top to bottom through their core. Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds from each half. Using a small sharp knife, trim away any core or stem.

In a ovenproof 10-inch, stainless steel — nonstick or not — high-sided skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter, letting it completely absorb, until it looks like wet sand.

Arrange 13 apple halves, stem side down, atop the sugar and butter in a circle at the perimeter of the pan. Apples should be nestled very tightly together. Fit the remaining three apple halves into the center. (If you can't fit all the apple pieces in, continue with the recipe; you’ll be able to add additional halves as the fruit cooks and starts to shrink.)

Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a rapid simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to very low, and cook, rotating the pan occasionally, for 60 to 70 minutes. (Within the first 10 minutes of cooking, the apples will begin to shrink. This is when you can wiggle any additional pieces into the pan.) Keep an eye on the apples as they cook. They will release their juices as the sugar begins to caramelize. Lower the heat further if the juices start to bubble up over the side of the pan. As the apples shrink, with a spoon or spatula, coax them to lean on one another, as this will produce a prettier tart once inverted.

After about 1 hour, the apples will have shrunk significantly. Using a fork or tongs, gently pluck one out to check the color. The parts of the apples that were in contact with the pan should be between toasted hazelnut and deep chestnut in color. Turn off the heat, and cool slightly, at least 30 minutes. (At this point, the apples may be cooled, covered and refrigerated in the pan for up to 2 days. Rewarm over low heat before proceeding with the recipe.)

Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Retrieve the dough from the refrigerator and gently lay it over the apples.

Place the skillet on a large, rimmed baking sheet and put it in the oven. Bake the tart 35 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is the color of almond skin.

Let the tart cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Place a plate that's slightly larger than the skillet on top, ensuring that the rim clears the edge of the skillet on all sides. Using oven mitts, grip the pan in one hand and plate in the other and, over a sink, quickly and carefully flip the hot skillet — away from you — so the tart inverts onto the plate.

The tart may have shifted in its descent; use a spoon to nudge the apples back into formation. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, creme anglaise or caramel sauce.

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Recipe Source

From food writer and former pastry chef Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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