Most of you know me as not such a sweet person. I mean, I am nice, I think, but I do prefer savory over sweet any day of the week. So over the past 6 months, I have made this Tarte Tatin recipe about 8 times, trying to perfect it in order to make it worthy enough to share it with you!
Great for Thanksgiving!
I think this could be a terrific alternative to the pumpkin and/or pecan pie for Thanksgiving this Thursday. It is a little healthier approach, but only if you decide, because holidays are always a special time, and should be kept so, with traditions in your family.
If you do decide to make this on Thursday, you can easily start it while the turkey is still in the oven, then bake it while the turkey is resting, if you only have one oven.
Easy as pie!
I initially learned about Tarte Tatin about 35 years ago. I had one of my first big projects with American Express and I was art directing a large photo shoot for a series of billing enclosures – remember those lovely little 4-color ad inserts you got with your bill every month in those days? Well the photo stylist I had hired to find all the props and to be on the set to style, suddenly started talking about this Tarte Tatin she had made the night before at her boyfriend’s apartment. They had had a bunch of people over, drinking and partying and she just went into the kitchen to make this, easily, and of course, everyone loved it!
So, man, I was in. But her recipe had you make a Pâte Brisée as the crust, which is really just a French version of a pie crust with a lot more butter and here, I just used my pie crust recipe made with all butter, and added an extra tablespoon. I had an already-made crust in the freezer, which then makes this recipe super easy.
What struck me about her story is that, A.) this had to be super easy to make if she just went in and whipped it up, probably even after having a few drinks at that – similar to Louise Fowler making me a Pecan Pie and B.) what a great way to wow people and make them happy, similar to “Oh you made a pie!”
I have had her recipe all this time, but now, I created this even easier recipe with what I have here.
My Tarte Tatin recipe is super quick, just as long as you can peel apples fast, but do take the time to make sure the sugar caramelizes completely and if you have a pie crust already made, it’s money!!
Here you go!!
TARTE TATIN – serves 6 – 8
4 Tbs. butter
¾ – 1 cup of white sugar, depending on the sweetness of your apples
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8th’s
Cinnamon – overall sprinkle
Nutmeg – overall grating of whole nutmeg
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 9” unbaked pie crust made with all butter plus an added 1 Tbs. of butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with the butter, melted. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the butter.
Place apple pieces on top of the butter and sugar, rounded sides down, in a circular pattern. Do cram them all in the skillet!
Turn heat to medium-high and cook until sugar dissolves and begins to caramelize. Continue to cook until apples soften and caramel begins to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Watch carefully and then remove from heat.
While the apples are caramelizing, sprinkle a work surface (preferably use a pastry cloth with a rolling pin cover) with 1 Tbs. flour and roll pie dough into an 11-inch circle.
Place crust on top of apples in the skillet and roll a rolling pin over the top to cut off the excess crust.
Bake in the preheated oven until crust is golden brown, about 20 – 23 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Do not allow it to cool any longer. Place a flat plate over the top of the pan and carefully invert to release the Tarte Tatin from the pan. Scrape any remaining apples stuck to the pan back on top of crust.
Serve with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream and LOVE. Enjoy!!