Tarte Tatin is a classic French dessert that features caramelized apples or other fruits baked under a layer of pastry. It's delicious and relatively simple to make.
For the Pastry:
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (store-bought or homemade)
- Flour for dusting
For the Filling:
- 4-5 large apples (such as Granny Smith or Gala) or 4-5 Bosc pears
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest or juice to prevent apples from browning
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Peel, core, and slice the apples into quarters or pears into halves. If you're concerned about the apples browning, you can toss them in a bit of lemon juice.
3. In a 9-10 inch ovenproof skillet or Tarte Tatin dish, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Allow the sugar and butter mixture to cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns a rich amber color. Be careful not to let it burn. This caramelization process can take about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat when it reaches the desired color.
5. Carefully arrange the apple quarters or pear halves in the skillet on top of the caramel, fitting them closely together in a circular pattern. You can add a second layer if needed. The apples will shrink as they cook pears tend to keep more of the size.
6. Return the skillet to the stovetop over low heat and cook for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the apples to soften and absorb some of the caramel.
7. While the apples/pears are cooking, roll out your puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a size slightly larger than your skillet.
8. Once the apples/pears have softened, carefully place the rolled-out puff pastry over the apples, tucking the edges down around the sides to encase the apples/pears.
9. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up.
10. Remove the Tarte Tatin from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
11. To serve, place a serving plate over the skillet, then carefully and quickly flip the skillet upside down to release the Tarte Tatin onto the plate. Be cautious as the caramel will be very hot.
12. Serve warm, either plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Enjoy your homemade Tarte Tatin!