Fall is approaching, and I am craving that cool crisp weather and the colors. I love Minnesota in the fall, and at the right time of day as the leaves are falling you can drive or walk down my street in uptown with all the houses, trees, and cars and it’s like a scene from a picture. Makes me love Minnesota every time, and so glad I moved here. In hopes and anticipation of fall, I made a small tarte tatin and served it with vanilla bean ice cream.
The concept of this tarte is very, very simple. It’s sugar, apples, and pie dough or puff pastry. Delicious and simple, and it’s easy to scale down or up depending on pan size. I used a 6″ frying pan that is rated for up to 500°F for oven use, two apples, and a half sheet of puffy pastry. Adding more flavor dimensions by adding a bit of lemon juice and zest and of vanilla and cinnamon. It is as I like, a quick, tasty dessert that includes little ingredients, but tastes like it took hours. The nice thing with this tarte is that you can make it ahead and let it cool, the flavors will meld together and be amazing, then reheat for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate to serve. As with any apple dessert, vanilla bean ice cream is the ideal accompaniment.
Apple Tarte Tatin
- 3/4 c Sugar
- 1.5 tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 2 Firm Baking Apples, peeled and cored, each cut into 8 wedges
- Juice and Zest, half a Lemon
- 1 Vanilla Bean, seeded
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt
- Pinch of Ground Clove
- 1 Sheet of Puff Pastry
In a small bowl, add the Apple wedges, lemon juice and zest, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon, salt, clove. Toss to combine and let marinade. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a 6″ sauce pan combine the butter and sugar over medium heat. Stir only until the butter has melted, do not over stir or agitate or the caramel will split. After it has come to a boil/simmer, cook for 5 minutes
NOTE: It may take less then 5 mintues, you are looking for a medium light caramel color, but don’t want it too deep or it will burn and taste bitter.
After the 5 minutes is up, turn the heat down to low and arrange the apple wedges in a circular pattern around the pan. Pour the juice from the bowl the apples were in over the apples and caramel.
To prepare the puff pastry. Lightly flour your work surface and place the sheet of puff pastry down, and lightly flour the top. Roll the sheet just until the pastry is seamless.
Turn the heat off the stove top, and lay the pastry over the pan lightly. Press down lightly into the apples and into the bottom sides of the pan, trying to create a seal. Let the pastry cover over the rim of the pan and trim off any access. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a plate.
To turn the tarte tatin out, place the serving plate over the pan (be VERY aware of where the hot pan handle will go while you are turning it out), and flip. Place the plate on the counter top and gently lift off the pan. if any caramel is still in the pan, heat it up on the stove top, and drizzle over the tarte. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche.
Note: If you are going to serve immediately, let the tart cool in the pan for 5 minutes before attempting to turn out onto a plate. If for later use, let cool and reheat in oven for 5 minutes so it is easily turned out onto a plate.