- 1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed in refrigerator
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1' pieces
- 5–6 Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp apples (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, halved
Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll into a 12" square about 1/8" thick. Using a 12" plate as a guide, cut out a 12" round with a sharp paring knife. Transfer pastry round to a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425°. Swirl butter and maple syrup in a 12" heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Sprinkle sugar over, evenly coating bottom of skillet. Add apples, cut side down; increase heat to medium-high and cook until sugar melts, occasionally swirling apples in pan, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, continuing to swirl apples in pan, about 5 minutes longer. Flip apples (rounded side down), and cook, swirling apples occasionally, until syrup is thick and golden brown, 5–10 minutes longer.
Cover apples with pastry round, tucking in edges of pastry. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°; bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden, about 20 minutes longer.
Let tarte tatin cool for 15 minutes. Invert a serving plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, firmly hold plate and skillet and invert tarte onto plate. Remove skillet; rearrange apples if needed and scrape any caramel in skillet over. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
Nutritional Content8 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 355.2 %Calories from Fat 46.7 Fat (g) 18.4 Saturated Fat (g) 7.5 Cholesterol (mg) 18.8 Carbohydrates (g) 45.0 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.5 Total Sugars (g) 27.6 Net Carbs (g) 42.5 Protein (g) 3.4 Sodium (mg) 208.7Reviews Section
Celebrate Pi Day with a Buttermilk Biscuit Tarte Tatin
Since Pi Day falls on a Sunday this year, it means we’re required to celebrate it all weekend long. I know it feels like a big ask, but both edible and numerical pi(e) enrich our lives in so many wonderful ways and deserve as much fêting as our bodies can handle. I’m going to be eating Chicken Parm Pot Pie for lunch, Beef Wellington Pot Pie for dinner, Oatmeal Cream Pie for snack time, the four-fruit behemoth that is 3.14 Pie for dessert, and shall be starting my days feasting on warm slices of this buttermilk biscuit tarte tatin, the true breakfast of champions.
Classic tarte tatin has a reputation of being difficult to make, even though in reality it’s quite simple: make caramel in a skillet, top with apples and pastry dough, bake, invert, enjoy. So why the bad rap? Because it’s impossible to know what a finished tarte tatin will look like until it’s flipped out of the pan just before serving, and if you’re inclined to compare your tarte of good faith to the professionally photographed ones on the internet, there’s an excellent chance you’ll be disappointed. This sort of thinking is silly and should be stopped at once. Who cares if your apples aren’t arranged in perfectly concentric circles or if they caramelize unevenly? So what if the crust gets a bit soggy or your tart doesn’t come out of the pan in one piece? Even in the worst-case scenario, you’re still eating caramel, apples, and buttery pastry, so please do not deprive yourself of tarte tatin out of fear. You deserve better.
To turn tarte tatin into a perfectly cromulent breakfast food, I enrich my caramel with bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup , which is definitely worth splurging on for a fancy breakfast feast like this one. For the crust, I make a massive, ultra-flaky buttermilk biscuit that ends up crisp and buttery on the bottom, dripping with hot caramel apple goodness on top. I like serving it with a dollop of tangy yogurt on top to cut through all the sweetness, and also to help legitimize it as part of a balanced breakfast. If you want to top yours with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream instead, go for it. Pi Day is a very special occasion.
Maple Apple Tarte Tatin
Here's a Canadian version of the classic French upside-down apple pie. Golden Delicious apples are best because they hold their wedge shape, making for a show- stopping presentation.
- 6 apples 2-1/2 lb/1.25 kg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups maple syrup
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup (less 1 tsp) ice water
Nutritional facts <b>Per each of 10 servings:</b> about
- Sodium 61 mg
- Protein 2 g
- Calories 302.0
- Total fat 14 g
- Cholesterol 37 mg
- Saturated fat 9 g
- Total carbohydrate 44 g
Pastry: In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. In measuring cup, whisk vinegar with enough ice water to make 1/4 cup (50 mL). Drizzle over flour mixture, stirring with fork until dough holds together when pressed. Press into disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
Peel, quarter and core apples. Cut quarters lengthwise to make 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges set aside.
In 8-inch (20 cm) cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat add sugar and cook, stirring, until bubbly and just turning golden, about 2 minutes. Add maple syrup cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Starting at edge of pan, arrange apples, flat side down, in concentric circles in syrup.
Simmer over medium-low heat, basting often, until apples begin to soften and syrup starts to thicken, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 10-inch (25 cm) circle cut 4 small steam vents in centre. Place over apples press pastry edge down between apples and pan.
Bake in centre of 425°F (220°C) oven until pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Wearing oven mitts, invert heatproof serving plate over skillet turn over to unmould onto plate. Replace any apples that may stick to pan and scrape out any sauce over apples. Serve warm.
Maple-Pear Tarte Tatin
In this upside-down pastry, the fruit is caramelized with the natural stuff (a.k.a. maple syrup).
sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
large, firm Anjou or Bosc pears
- Heat oven to 400ºF. On lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll puff pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out a 12-inch round and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Peel, halve, and core pears, then cut each half in half. Rub pears with cut side of 1/2 lemon.
- Juice remaining half lemon. Heat medium cast-iron (about 10 inches) on medium. Add maple syrup, butter, salt, and lemon juice and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken, deepen in color and smell like caramel, 5 to 8 min. remove from heat. Being careful not to touch maple mixture, arrange pears, cut sides down, in pan. Return pan to low heat and cook pears 4 minutes. Remove from heat and lay puff pastry circle on top, carefully tucking overhang down inside of pan. Cut 3 small slits in pastry and bake in upper third of oven 10 minutes. Reduce temp to 375°F and bake until pastry is deep golden brown and maple mixture has reduced, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let stand 5 minutes, then run knife along edge to loosen. Place plate on top and flip, inverting tart. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information (per serving): About 290 calories, 13.5 g fat (7 g saturated), 3 g protein, 205 mg sodium, 44 g carb, 4 g fiber
Maple and Apple Tarte Tartin
If you love caramel as much as I do, you’ll love this tarte tartin recipe. It’s super easy and is simply a matter of making the caramel, chopping up some apples and adding the pastry. Having never made a tarte before, this was a new experience especially having to make it upside down. A word of warning though…speaking from experience…do NOT touch the handle of the pan after it has been in the oven, it is HOT! Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream. This recipe is thanks to Annabel Langbein’s new book.
- Puff pastry (Annabel’s recipe says to use two sheets but I just used one sheet of the paneton pastry)
- 100g butter
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- Zest of one orange
- 6 apples (I used granny-smith because they’re my fave but use whichever you want!)
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Place butter, sugar and maple syrup in a steel-handled frypan and cook until the mixture starts to turn dark brown. This will take about 5 minutes and be careful not to burn it. Remove from the heat and stir in the cloves and orange zest. Arrange the apples (cut into quarters) with the round side down in the caramel. Place the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Place the chilled pastry on top of the apples (you will need to cut the pastry to the size of the frypan). Bake for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and stand for 30 minutes before flipping the tart over to serve. Serve warm.
The January 2012 edition of Bon Appetit magazine highlighted Canadian sugar shacks, along with creative Montreal chef Martin Picard and some of the recipes from his new cookbook, “Sugar Shack Au Pied de Cochon.” (The cookbook will be available next month through the shack’s web site. To enter for a chance to win a copy, go to bonappetit.com/go/shack.”
I was intrigued by the article. It surprised me to learn that Canada supplies 80% of the world’s supply of maple syrup, and that affordable gut-busting feasts are available at sugar shacks during the usual March 1 through April 30 season when sap runs from the trees. There is no counterpart in the states, with apologies to Vermont. Reservations must be made well in advance, because the lines are long to take part in this maple syrup celebration. You’ll not only eat, you’ll also dance. Cabane a Sucre Au Pied de Cochon takes reservations just be sure to email well in advance: cabaneasucreaupieddecochon.com.
As one could almost anticipate, Chef Picard has his own twist on the classic French dessert, tarte Tatin (the famous tarte named for its namesake hotel owners and originators, the Tatin sisters). You guessed it: he incorporates Canada’s beloved maple syrup into the caramel. In spite of the fact that the apples are bathed in sweet syrup for the entire cooking process, sweetness levels are just about perfect for hubby and me. The apples are amazingly tender, not mushy, and infused with the decadent maple caramel flavor. Being an apple purist, I loved tasting apple and not spices and other flavorings that are normal to, and dominate, most apple desserts.
Selecting apples of uniform size will make the best presentation, though you probably will have to quarter some to fill in gaps.
1/2 of 14 oz. pkg. of puff pastry (preferably all butter, but Pepperidge Farm will work), thawed in fridge
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 large Stayman, Fuji, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples (about 2 lbs.), peeled, cored, halved
Maple syrup-sweetened whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or creme fraiche
Unfold thawed puff pastry on a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Using an upside-down 8” cast-iron or heavy skillet as a guide, cut pastry into a 9” circle. Refrigerate pastry circle while making filling.
Another Kitchen Tip: Save pastry scraps to cover two ramekins filled with apples that have been cooked in the same caramel mixture. Bake these at 375F for about 20 minutes, till pastry is puffed and golden.
Preheat the oven to 250C/500F/Gas 9.
First, make the pastry. In a food processor, mix the flour, butter and icing sugar just until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and, using the pulse button, mix until it comes together in a dough.
Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and divide into two pieces. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the freezer to chill for at least an hour.
For the filling, place the apple wedges in a bowl, squeeze the lemon juice over them and toss them gently.
Sprinkle 85g/3oz of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan and place on the hob over a medium heat, turning the pan frequently and making sure the sugar doesn't burn. Allow the sugar to caramelise a little and become a pale golden brown, then remove from the heat and arrange the drained apple pieces in one layer over the bottom of the pan.
Place the pan in the oven and bake until the apples have softened a bit and started to release some liquid - about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the remaining sugar and dot the butter on top. Remove the pastry from the freezer and, using the coarse side of a cheese grater, grate the pastry with long steady strokes over the apples until it forms an even layer at least 2.5cm/1 inch thick. Do not press down. Return to the oven, turn the heat down to 220C/425F/Gas 7 and bake until the pastry is golden brown - about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a minute or two.
Take a heatproof serving dish that is generously larger than the pan on all sides and place over the pan. Protecting your hands with a dry folded tea-towel, and holding the dish and pan firmly together, quickly and carefully flip the pan and the dish so that the pan is on top. Tap the pan sharply a few times all round with a wooden spoon, then lift off. The tart should be left on the serving dish with the apple on top.
Apple Maple and Pecan Tarte Tatin
A tarte Tatin falls into the same category as panna cotta – seemingly complicated yet deceptively simple and easy (unless of course you make your own puff pastry, but ain’t nobody got time for that).
I had been wanting to make a tarte Tatin for a while, and thanks to a delivery of farm fresh apples from Scotty after a recent trip to Canberra, the time was nigh. Not wanting to make your normal tarte Tatin, and with an enduring love of maple syrup, my version of apple maple and pecan tarte Tatin was born.
I’m sure many have heard the story of how the tarte Tatin was created out of a happy accident, but for those who haven’t heard the tale, the short and most commonly believed version is that is was created at the Hotel Tatin by one of the Tatin sisters who owned the hotel. The story goes that she was making an apple pie but got distracted and ended up leaving the apples cooking in the butter and sugar too long, so she took the pastry base for the apple pie base and popped it on top of the pan finishing it off in the oven and turning it out of the pan to make what we now refer to as tarte Tatin.
Apple Maple and Pecan Tarte Tatin
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 1/2 apples, quartered
- 50g pecan nuts
- 375g sheet of butter puff pastry
Preheat oven to 200° Celsius.
Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add maple syrup and cook for five minutes or until the maple syrup is a dark caramel in colour. Remove from the heat and wait till the bubbles subside.
Scatter the pecans over the maple syrup, then arrange the apples over the syrup and pecans and set aside till the caramel cools.
Cut a circle from the puff pastry that is slightly larger than the pan and place it over the apples. Take the edges of the pastry and tuck it in over the apple. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden.
Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, the invert onto a plate being extremely careful as the pan and caramel is piping hot.
Perfect apple tarte tatin
[Welcome to the second episode of the Sous-Chef Series, a sporadic feature on SK in which I invite cooks I admire over to my small kitchen to teach me — and thus, us — to make one of their specialties. Spoiler: I’m the sous! Previously: Making potato vareniki with Kachka’s Bonnie Frumpkin.]
Almost without fail, the more bafflingly short an ingredient list and the more stunningly delicious the outcome, the more likely it is to rivet me. I don’t need all recipes to have 5- or 10- or fewer ingredients — I fare poorly under arbitrarily restrictive confines — but doesn’t it just blow your mind that you can make the apple tarte tatin above with only apples, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and a sheet of defrosted puffed pastry?
Or, you should be able to. When made well, this upside-down apple tart looks like snug copper cobblestones on top of a rippling puff of flaky pastry. If you’re lucky, the apples will taste like they drank a cup of caramel and then napped in what they couldn’t finish. I love it enough that I’ve written about it twice (!) in eleven years but my efforts were… mediocre at best. I mean, just look at them — too thin, too sparse, too pale, apples either under- or overcooked, and way too many apples have dissolved long before the cooking time should have been up, despite being “good baking apples.”
I’d begrudgingly resigned myself a life of tatin mediocrity when I spotted one of the most stunning ones I’d seen to date on a magazine stand. And I had a feeling I knew who had cooked/styled it — my across-the-street neighbor. Her name is Susan Spungen and she’s a cookbook author and food stylist and whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably admired her behind-the-scenes handiwork on movies — see: that croissant scene in It’s Complicated, oh and everything Amy Adams and Meryl Streep cooked in Julie & Julia. It was on the latter project that she got very, very good at apple tarte tatins. She explains “It was a quick shot, but I worked hard to get the right look and technique, so I could make it over and over again, and have it look exactly the same each time, which is essential for a movie scene.”
I invited myself over and watched her make one in her tiny kitchen, not even breaking a sweat, and it was perfect. I thought it would fill me with the confidence I needed to replicate it at home. But two years later, it had not. So, this fall, I asked her to come to my place this time, I took 200 pictures and almost as many notes. I then made four more without her and all except the one I made with what turned out to be the wrong apples, looked exactly like hers. With this I knew it was time to write what I hope will be the last tarte tatin recipe you’ll ever need.
Here are a few things I learned from watching a professional, and basically making five tatins in two weeks:
1. The type of apple matters. You need one that holds its shape after it bakes. The internet is full of lists of “good baking apples” and “bad” baking apples and I cannot tell you which one will never lead you astray because there’s (believe it or not) a limit to my madness and I won’t be testing any recipe with every variety of apple. However, I was crazy enough to audition four here. I homed in on ones that I can buy at both grocery stores and local greenmarkets right now: Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smiths. The first three worked great the last one fell to mush. It may be because it was from a grocery store (I actually don’t find them at markets much) where they’re often very, very old, or maybe it’s just that they’re all wrong for this recipe. I don’t think it’s worth the risk to find out. If you make it with another kind with success, shout it out (and whether it procured locally or from a grocery store) in the comments.
2. You don’t need to cut them all crazy. I see recipes that call for halves (too big), quarters (too small), and some that call for thirds, which is about right but there’s no need to do exacting knife work to get every piece to be the same size, even if you have the patience to make finicky apple cuts. I’m using three sizes — a little less than half, a third, and about one-quarter in each that you see here — and cut them the way you would if you were snacking on an apple: imperfect and easy. A mix of sizes and shapes fits better.
3. Apples shrink a lot when they cook. If you’ve ever wondered why so many apples are called for in a 9- to 10-inch round tart, this is why. If you’ve ever made one and really thought you crammed the fruit in, only to have a tatin that looked like sparse apple cobble stones, ditto. It means that when you nestle the apples against each other before you bake it, you want each to lean onto the one behind it, overlapping it by one-third, so as it shrinks in the oven, they’re still tightly snugged together.
4. Three-quarters of the apple-cooking is done on the stove in the caramel the rest happens in the oven. When the pastry is nicely browned and crisp, it’s done. This means that if the sautéed apples aren’t mostly cooked, that they’re still crunchy inside, it needs more time on the stove before it goes in the oven or the baked tatin won’t have perfectly tender apples.
5. Because of #3 and #4, you really want to use two pans make your tatin. Trust me — a person who will go to almost any length not to dirty two dishes when she could only dirty one — when I say that this is a place where it is unequivocally worth it. Almost every apple tarte tatin recipe makes life unnecessarily difficult by having you do the stovetop component (making the caramel and cooking the apples in it) in the same small pan as you’d might bake your final tart. Just look how many apples end up in the final tart, and that’s after they’ve shrunk. It’s very hard to cook the not-yet-shrunk apples evenly in caramel in a small pan. It’s much easier and will give you more consistent results if you use a big skillet. Then, arrange the apples exactly the way you want them in a smaller ovenproof skillet or standard pie pan. (And, it cools the apple mixture down a bit, essential because you don’t want to melt the butter in your pastry before it gets in the oven.)
6. Almost every apple tarte tatin recipe, including my previous ones, tells you to flip it out of the pan too soon. Give it time for the caramel and cooked apple juices to thicken up a bit. I found a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60 worked well. It’s not ruined if you flip it sooner, but the caramel will be thinner and more likely to run off and puddle.
Wander galleries from your living room
Step inside Quebec City’s art galleries like Galerie Perreault, where you can browse works by contemporary artists as well as Canadian masters. Or take a virtual tour of the gallery. Discover Canadian Inuit sculptures through the Galerie Art Inuit Brousseau’s Instagram account. And stroll around town with photos of public artworks from Quebec City Tourism. You won’t even need to pull on your snow boots.
How are you going to channel the spirit of Quebec City in your home? Share your ideas in the comments.
Stephanie Rosenbloom, the author of “Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude” (Viking), has been writing travel, business and styles features for The Times for nearly two decades. Twitter: @Stephronyt. Instagram: @StephanieRosenbloom