It’s now almost 6 months later and I’ve forgotten what all those dishes were, except for one – Tarte Tatin, inspired by the biopic La Vie en Rose, about Edith Piaf. If you haven’t seen it, you need to! Rush to Blockbuster or add it to your Netflix queue. The actress that portrayed Edith won Best Actress for that role, by the way. But I digress! If you don’t know what tart tatin is, it’s a French apple tart. The neighbor that made it is from France, so it was genuine French fare. Simply saying it was delicious is an understatement. I asked her for the recipe, and she emailed it to me a few days later. Like so many other items in my inbox, it got filed away in a random folder and I forgot about it, until that weekend that I had no Internet. That’s why I’m just getting around to sharing the recipe.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pour half a stick of melted butter in your pie dish.
- Cover with sugar in an even layer.
- Add your favorite flavoring or spice (vanilla, cinnamon…)
- Place apple slices on top of this butter/sugar layer. Make sure that the first layer is nicely presented since it’s the one will end up on top. As for the thickness of the slices: not too thin otherwise the apples will caramelize with the sugar and will stick to the dish, but not too thick either because then they won’t fully cook. Make sure you leave a gap of about 1/2″ all around the dish so you can tuck the pastry in.
- Cover the apples with the pastry. You can go all out and make the dough yourself, or do what I do and use the ready-made kind found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I use the Pepperidge Farm brand.
- Cut off any extra dough that hangs over the edge of the pie dish, and tuck the pastry in all around the gap you left when laying the apple slices. It’s easy to do it with the prongs of a fork.
- Puncture the pastry so that steam can escape (you don’t want it to swell up during baking).
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (when you poke the tart, the apples should be soft).
- Let cool for a few minutes, then place your presentation platter on top of the pie dish and flip it over so the apples end up face up.
It’s such an easy dish to make and so, so yummy! Experiment with different spices and apple varieties. I always have Gala apples on hand, but those aren’t the best to use because they tend to get too soft. Golden Delicious and Granny Smith work well, particularly the latter if you don’t want your tart too sweet.
Let me know if you try this recipe; I’d love to hear how it turns out!