Apple Tarts Tatin

by Alexis on November 22, 2013

When Melina shared her Muscadine Marbled Cheesecake last month, I thought there was no way she could top that, but these Apple Tarts Tatin might just do it. Their simplicity, but big impact makes them a perfect dessert for the busy holiday season. Oh, and Melina finally joined Instagram. Hurrah! You can find tons more delicious inspiration on her feed. Thanks for sharing, Melina! —Alexis

I was thinking about what kind of dessert is easy to make that has big payback, and the decadence of tart Tatin came to mind. With just four ingredients, it’s pretty unbeatable. And the delight of eating the results is huge. I used a good quality store-bought puff pastry which helped simplify matters, but you are welcome to make your own or use a different kind of dough altogether.

Apple Tarts Tatin
Yields 5 6-inch skillets* (feeds 8-10)

  • 10-12 apples, firm, good-for-baking, heirloom varietals if you can
  • 1 stick of butter, divided between the skillets
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 packages Dufour all-butter puff pastry
  • 2-3 lemons, squeezed, for acidulated water
  • A dollop of crème fraîche for the tarts table-side, if you like

*Make sure to use oven safe skillets, like cast iron.

  1. Thaw puff pastry in refrigerator for a few hours, then roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut along perimeter of overturned pan and allow 1/8-inch extra allowance from pan edge. Freeze any leftover dough for another use. Layer puff pastry disks between parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate.
  2. Peel, core, and half the apples and place them in acidulated water to prevent from oxidizing.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter over medium heat and disperse sugar equally between them. If you’re doing multiple pans, prepare them all at the same time so that they are simultaneously ready, start-to-finish. Agitate and swirl pans to evenly distribute and incorporate sugar.
  4. Slice apples into 1/4-inch segments and fan them out, layering them to fit as many as possible while still neatly arranging them in the pans. Cook the apples in the sugar-butter mixture over medium heat until the sugar becomes a dark amber color. The whole thing will bubble vigorously, so be careful if you need to nudge any apple slices while cooking, or while rotating your pans for even cooking.
  5. Once the sugar mixture is a dark amber, remove it from heat. Do not begin placing the puff pastry lids atop pans until the last pan is near ready, as you should put them in the oven all together. Use the end of a butter knife to carefully tuck the pastry lids snugly inside each pan. It is okay if you overlap the pastry to make it fit.
  6. Place skillets on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has puffed and become golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Place serving dish on top of skillet, and invert pan—with confidence!—to release the tart. You may find that some apples remain stuck to the pan. In that case, use a thin spatula to free them, and carefully place back onto tart … it happens to the best of us. A dollop of crème fraîche is my favorite way to complete these beauties.

{ Images and Recipe Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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