Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Classic French apple tart. I make this every fall during apple season, usually end up with the recipe memorized as I'm churning out my 14th, or 15th, tarte by the end of the year. Use tart Granny Smiths for best results. Use store-bought puff pastry to make it super easy! I found this method by trial and error to bypass making caramel first. (At the suggestion of my friends 2Bleu, a note about traditional tarte tatin: The traditional tarte tatin starts by making caramel in a cast-iron skillet first, then cooks the apples in the caramel on the stovetop, then has you make a crust like a pie crust, which gets placed on top of the apples, then the whole thing is moved into the oven. It's delicious, but a tedious method. So I played around in the kitchen until I discovered this method by a wonderful accident! Don't you love when that happens? ;-) )
- Mix sugar and melted butter and press evenly into greased 8" or 9" round cake pan.
- Put apples on their sides in rows decoratively around pan, packing closely together and filling small spaces with broken segments of apples.
- Sprinkle tops of apples lightly with cinnamon if desired.
- Bake uncovered at 425F about 1-1 ½ hours.
- If apples start to burn, they can be covered toward the end of the baking time.
- Meanwhile, unfold pastry sheet and cut to fit pan. Use another pan to trace shape if necessary.
- Poke fork holes into both sides of puff pastry sheet to allow air to escape while baking.
- Press pastry on top of baked apples, pushing edges down. Bake another 20 minutes.
- Cool partially, then invert to a platter. Serve warm.
This didn't work for me at all. I tried it twice and it was just a huge waste of good ingredients. 1 1/2 hours at such a high heat was way too much. On the first attempt I followed the directions exactly, covering when the apples started to burn. The end result was a pan of charcoal. The second time, I baked the apples a much shorter time just until the colour started to turn caramel then added the crust until it was golden. Again, the apples were charred black. There are other recipes on this site that cook the apples on top of the stove. I will try one of those instead.
This was excellent. It would have been helpful to know how long to let it set before inverting it, though, because I think I turned mine a bit too quickly.
Daughter had to make an apple tarte for a french assignment to bring into her class. Many recipes seemed too complicated, but this one was by far one of the easiest. Our only struggle was at end when half of the tarte stuck to pan and half didn't. So her presentation was not that great, BUT her french teacher (who is a native of France) and her class loved it!