Steeped in rich caramel, studded with big chunks of apple, and surrounded by a light and flaky crust, winter desserts don’t get much better than a classic tarte tatin. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a romantic dinner; and since it’s so easy to make, it’s ideal for dinner parties or weeknight dinners for two.
I used to think tarte tatin was a fussy dessert, but after a few test runs, it has quickly become one of my favorite winter treats. Think of it as a caramel apple pie, but without all the trouble. Just make up a simple caramel sauce, add the apple slices, cover with dough, bake, flip and eat. And anyway, if this deep caramel and apple flavor were any easier to come by, I might give up on other foods altogether!
Head below for a photo step-by-step and our easy tarte tatin recipe.
Set the apples in the caramel. 1 of 7
Roll out the dough. 2 of 7
Place dough on top of the apples. 3 of 7
Cut slits in the dough. 4 of 7
Bake until golden. 5 of 7
Cool, and then flip the tarte tatin. 6 of 7
Have a slice! 7 of 7
Tarte Tatin Recipe (adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food)
for the dough
makes one 10 ounce crust
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cold and rough chopped
1/4 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse 6 or so times. The mixture should have a sandy texture. Drizzle in the water, a pulse 1 or 2 times.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
for the tarte tatin
6 – 7 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a 9 inch cast iron or metal skillet over medium-high heat. To make the simple caramel, add the butter, melt, and then swirl in the sugar. Cook for 4 – 6 minutes, keeping a close eye as the sugar starts to melt. Stir often, and look for the mixture to turn a deep golden hue. Remove from heat. The caramel will continue to cook and the color will deepen even more. Set aside while you prepare the apples.
Cut the quartered apples in half, and arrange curved side down in the skillet, pressing them into the warm caramel. Start with the outer rim, fitting the apples in a tight circle. Next, add the apples to the center. Cut any leftover apple slices into smaller pieces and fill any gaps.
Quickly roll out the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, fold into quarters, and unfold over the apples mixture. Tuck the edges around the apples. Cut 4 tiny slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around a light golden crust.
Cool for 10 – 20 minutes, set a large plate over the skillet, and, using oven mits, flip. A few apples may stick to the top, just replace them into the tarte tatin as needed. Cool for another 20 minutes or so, and serve warm, or cool completely. Either way, you’re in for a little slice of heaven.