For me one of the simplest apple recipes you can do. I particularity don’t measure the ingredients exact, just add sugar butter and a few other drops until it looks right. However I will provide measurements for those who aren’t as confident. Its not that I am a super cook, its just that I do not mind how my Apple Tarte Tatin turns out. Someday’s the caramel is light and runny then other days its nice thick, very chewy and gooey.
How was it first made
Originally the Tarte Tatin was made by accident in a hotel in France. The hotel of course was called Hotel Tatin and was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are many stories as to how it came about but as they say, the rest is history (source wikipedia) The Tarte Tatin process involves the process of butter and sugar caramelising in the pan. Any firm fruits can be used but I prefer the apple.
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Apple Tarte Tatin The Equipment
I simple use either my carbon pan ( if its seasoned correctly) or my metal handled non stick frying pan. The easiest option is the non stick as its more forgiving. Some people like to use a proper Tarte Tatin tin. For me its not about perfecting how it looks but the perfection of the flavour and taste. After all, its about the eating, from the cooker to the table, everyday eating for the family. You can pay an incredible £120 for a professional Tarte Tatin tin, staggering when my £20 frying pan produces great results.
- 4 to 6 apples (mixture of red and green)
- 50g of Butter (salted or unsalted)
- 100g of Sugar (any sugar you have)
- Squeeze of a Lemon
- 1 drop of vanilla essence
- 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
Peel and de core the apples Cut into quarters (or 1/8th dependent on size) Start melting the butter, sugar lemon juice and vanilla in a frying pan Add the chopped apples Keep cooking until the apples are coated and the sugar has started to turn brown. Take the pan off the heat Roll out the puff pastry over the caramelised apples in the pan Tuck the ends of the pastry into the pan so it fits the circle of the pan neatly place in the oven at 190c for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown Remove from the oven and be careful not to burn your hands on the hot pan handle Place a plate on top of the frying pan and flip it over Your pastry should now be on the bottom and your apples on the top Slice and serve with cream or ice cream
Once you have caramelised the apples you can leave it at this point. You can then add the pastry top just before you sit down to eat your main course. Then it should be ready piping hot after your main course
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The Ingredients, Apples
The apples, now again so many variations in what apples should be used in this tarte. I prefer granny smiths apples firstly and then any red apple. We must remember though that this is Cheap Dinner Ideas and we use what we have to hand. Usually it is a 50/50 split of red and green apples as this tends to balance out the acidity in the tatin. So if you see a bargain at your supermarket or even better apples of a tree use them
The Sugar, another battle ground of contention. Caster sugar, plain ole white sugar, brown sugar or muscavado sugar. Same rules apply, what ever you have in your own larder/cupboards as long as its sugar. You need the sugar to caramalise and when sugar does it all ends up brown anyway.
The butter, this is a very big no no for most chefs but, if you don’t have unsalted butter in the house use the salted butter. Its all the rage anyway now, salted caramel so calm down carry on cooking.
Yes there can be more to add to your apple tarte tatin if you so wish. Its your recipe so add what you like. Alcohol, now what would be good with apples. Calvados of course as its made from apple’s anyway. If you do use a spirit ensure that you flambe of the alcohol and intensify the flavour. Vanilla, now I like to add a few drops of vanilla essence to my apple tarte tatin, my preference. There is a hint of lemon in my apples and you may call me crazy but, when you peel the apples they start to go brown so I add a little water and some lemon juice in a bowl to stop them doing this. I know we are going to turn the apples brown anyway. Cinnamon is also good to add another dimension.
The Perfect Tarte Tatin
I did say at the beginning that this is simple recipe for Tarte Tatin but the purist will now be screaming at the screen. The classic apple tarte tatin should be perfectly caramelised and set when you turn it out. It barley moves the sugar and butter have gone to soft set toffee like quality. I am not looking for restaurant quality presentation but something to delight family and friends. However if you wish to go that extra mile and get the perfect apple tarte tatin here are a few recipes from the masters of the art.
Jamie Olivers World Famous Tarte Tatin
Raymond Blanc Tarte Tatin