Apples are starting to drop from trees, which means it’s time to make one of my favorite fall desserts, the Tarte Tatin. Also known as an upside-down caramelized apple pie, this French classic works best with two kinds of apples, Pinky Lady and Golden. Granny Smiths, though, will not work (it’s a texture thing). I like to serve my tart warm by itself or with a dollop of crème fraîche or a vanilla bean Chantilly (whipped cream).
9 oz. premade puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry or Dufour Puff Pastry)
3/4 stick unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons to grease the mold
7 to 8 apples (preferably Golden or Pink Lady), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 380°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-in. round cake pan. Dice 2/3 of the rest of the butter and place around the bottom of the tart mold. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar.
Arrange as many halved apples as you can around the pan in a fan shape. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of the apples and dot with remaining slice dices of butter. Place the pan on a burner and cook the apples on medium heat, undisturbed, until the juices are deep golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
After, roll out a large sheet of pastry and drape the pan. Cut any excess pastry, and, using your hands, push the pastry on the edges of the round cake to seal it. Return the tart to the oven until the pastry is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Just before serving, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert a plate and place on top of the cake pan. Hold the two together and flip to invert the tart onto the plate. Brush any excess caramel over the apples. Serve immediately with a dollop of vanilla bean Chantilly.
To prepare the Chantilly: Using a stand mixer, mix 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Tip: You can easily prepare this dessert in advance. Once the tart is baked, it can stand in the round cake pan for 1 day (in your fridge). When you’re ready to serve, reheat it over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes to loosen the caramel.
Will serve 6 to 8 people
About the Author
Adeline Borra is private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France, and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France and Spain. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website, macuisinebyadeline.com.