Apple Tarte Tatin


Total time:

3 hrs


8 servings



Pastry Dough

  • ¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water

Tart Tatin

  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream optional as accompaniment


Preparing the Dough

Step 1

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the flours, sugar and butter. Pulse 5 or 6 times in ½-second bursts to break up the butter. Add the shortening, turn on the machine and immediately add the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times.

Step 2

The dough should look like a mass of smallish lumps and should just hold together in a mass when a handful is pressed together. If the mixture is too dry, pulse in more water by droplets.

Step 3

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and with the heel of your hand, rapidly and roughly push egg-size blobs into a 6-inch smear. Gather the dough into a relatively smooth cake, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Preparing the Apples

Step 1

Quarter, core, and peel the apples; cut the quarters in half lengthwise.

Step 2

Toss in a bowl with the lemon and ½ cup of sugar, and let steep 20 minutes so they will exude their juices. Drain them.

Caramel Glaze

Step 1

Set the frying pan over moderately high heat with the butter, and when melted blend in the remaining 1 cup sugar.

Step 2

Stir about with a wooden spoon for several minutes, until the syrup turns a bubbly caramel brown – it will smooth out later, when the apples juices dissolve the sugar.

Arranging Apples in Pan

Step 1

Remove from heat and arrange a layer of apple slices nicely in the bottom of the pan to make an attractive design.

Step 2

Arrange the rest of the apples on top, close-packed, and only reasonably neat. Add enough so that they heap up 1 inch higher than the rim of the pan – they sink down as they cook.

Preliminary Stovetop Cooking

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for the next step, placing the rack in the lower middle level. Set the pan again over moderately high heat, pressing the apples down as they soften, and drawing the accumulated juices up over them with the bulb baster – basting gives the apples a deliciously buttery caramel flavor.

Step 2

In several minutes, when the apples begin to soften, cover the pan and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, checking and basting frequently until the juices are thick and syrupy. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly while you roll out the dough.

The Dough Cover

Step 1

The dough cover. Roll the chilled dough into a circle 3/16 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the top of your pan. Cut 4 steam holes, ¼-inch size, 1 ½ inches from around the center of the dough. ween the apples and the inside of the pan.

Step 2

Working rapidly, fold the dough in half, then in quarters; center the point over the apples. Unfold the dough over the apples. Press the edges of the dough down bet

Bake and Serve

Step 1

Bake and serve. Bake about 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. Bake until the pastry has browned and crisped.

Step 2

Being careful of the red-hot pan handle, remove from the oven. Still remembering that the pan is red-hot, turn the serving dish upside down over the apples and reverse the two to unmold the tart. Serve hot, warm, or cold, with the optional whipped cream or ice cream.

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