Since I have discovered Tarte Tatin during a long trip to France some years ago, I don’t bake any other kinds of apple pies or apple cakes anymore. For me, Tarte Tatin is the ultimate apple pie/cake dessert that contains the essence of wholesome aromatic cooked apples, sweetness from the light caramel sauce, and a crunchy bite that contradicts the soft apples. Legend says that this delicious pie was accidentally created by the Tatin sisters who use to run a hotel in central France in the 1880’s. But the recipe I want to share with you is from my French friend Myriam’s mom. And I bet it’s better than the original version! 🙂

Myriam is from a small town in Bretagne, France. I met her in a German writing class, and although being French, she spoke very good German and was very good at grammar (unlike most of the French friends I met in Zurich.) The German sentences she wrote had no mistakes and she had impeccable handwriting! When I heard that she had baked a delicious Tart Tatin over the weekend according to her mother’s breton-style recipe with lots of butter, I knew it had to be awesome. I asked her for the recipe and she shared it with me. And guess what? The result was indeed the BEST EVER Tart Tatin ever!

There are so many Tarte Tatin recipes on the internet. Most of them will offer a recipe with a store-bought puff pastry – for example this one. Instead of using a store bought pastry, make the pie crust with the following recipe. It will make your Tarte Tatin extra buttery with a good thick bite, almost like a Sable Breton, the shortbread-like cookie from Bretagne. All you need to do is to mix the ingredients and chill it in the refrigerator for 30min-1hr before you roll it out.

The recipe here will yield a pie size of apprx. 26cm diameter pan.

Ingredients for pastry:

  • 200g flour
  • 80g cold butter, chopped into cubes
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Ingredients for pie filling:

  • 7-8 medium size apples
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • some flour for dusting

Steps for making the pastry:

  1. Mix the flour and the cold butter cubes with a spatula or fingers (massage the butter into the dough) so that all the butter is integrated into the flour
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the ingredients form a dough. Add another tablespoon of water if needed. Keep the kneading to a minimum.
  3. Wrap the dough with a plastic wrap in the refrigerator and chill for 30min – 1hr. You can also make the dough a day before and chill it until use.

Steps for making the rest:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C
  2. Cut 7-8 medium size apples into half and remove the core (usually a 26cm pan will fit 7-8 mid-large size apples. Use more apples if needed. You really want your pan to be nicely packed with apples without any gaps in between)
  3. Take an oven-safe pan (I like to use my Le Creuset cast iron pan for this), and put it on med-high heat. Sprinkle 100g of sugar and wait until the sugar bubbles and turns amber.
  4. Then add in the apples and butter. Let the apples cook while covering them with the caramel for about 5 min. Make the round side of your apples face the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to low and let it continue to cook.
  5. Now take the pre-made pastry out of the refrigerator. Dust the working surface with flour and place the dough on it. Use a dusted rolling pin to roll out the dough the size of your pan.
  6. Now transfer the rolled out dough carefully onto the pan over the apples. Tuck in the pastry so that the dough covers all the apples. Poke holes on top of the dough with a fork so that the steam can escape while baking.
  7. Immediately transfer the pan into the hot oven and bake for about 45min until the dough turns golden brown.
  8. Let cool at least for 30min and flip over before serving. It’s delicious with some cream chantilly (sweetend whipped cream), creme fraiche, or vanilla ice cream.

Hope you enjoy it! And MERCI Myriam!

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