Friday, September 23, 2011

10-minute or faux tarte tatin

I am aware that a tarte tatin is a complex affair, a thing to be taken very seriously, whose preparation involves great love and skill.
Then again, as a working mother of two, I am always short on time and so once again I am proposing a short cut. I do however feel the need to point out that this recipe is in no way trying to rival the original, because we all know that is impossible.
Along with pecan pie, tarte tatin is F's favorite dessert. We spent our honeymoon in Paris one cold December many moons ago and tarte Tatin was his way of ending almost every meal. While I stuffed myself silly with molten chocolate cakes and chocolate mousse, he happily spooned creme fraiche onto his tarte tatin.

These days things are a little more crazy than they were back in Paris, but I still like to spoil my husband every once in a while. There is a restaurant in Mallorca that is famous for its paper thin version of tarte tatin that must be ordered at the beginning of the meal because it is baked express in single portions and served warm with vanilla ice cream. I took F there for his second birthday celebration and he looked forward to his birthday cake all evening.

Imagine my delight when I came across Nigella's forgotten (by me) recipe for a tarte fine aux pommes. It looked just like it so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I made some minor adjustments in shape, exchanging the suggested Granny Smith apples with yellow ones and by adding a light layer of jam. What I didn't leave out was the creme fraiche (now you know why I had my favorite salmon dip a few times this past week), bringing back so many newlywed memories and making it taste close to a tarte tatin.

My husband ended up not having any because he was not feeling well, but everyone else enjoyed it and I guess it is the thought that counts, right?

2 large apples
homemade puff pastry or 1 store ready best-quality puff pastry
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp brown sugar (or 2 tbsp if you are not using any jam)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp jam

creme fraiche

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a bowl and top off with some water. Cut the apples in half and core them. Place them in the bowl to avoid browning. Roll out the puff pastry into a baking pan and mark a border around the edge of about 1cm /1/2 inch so the crust puffs up nicely. The original recipe recommended sprinkling 1tbsp sugar over the bottom of the pastry but I had a little plum jam I wanted to use up so I spread that onto the bottom instead. Take the apple halves out of the water, pat dry and cut into quarters. Proceed to cut the quarters into thin strips which you will then put onto the pastry on the inside of the marked edge in a pretty design. Preheat your oven to 220°C. In the meantime heat up 1 tbsp of butter and 1 of sugar in a sauce pan and let cook down to a syrup. Take off heat when it turns golden and pour over the apples. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes and serve warm if possible with creme fraiche (or vanilla ice cream!).


  1. Lovely memories...and a seriously lovely tart! This looks beautiful. I'm with you on the Parisian desserts - would most likely choose chocolate mousse over tarte tatin (although this version does look seriously good) - but am 100% with your husband on pecan pie. Just linked through to that recipe and it looks de-licious.

  2. Beautiful tart, beautiful writing- as always. I'm with your husband- they can keep their chocolate mousse and cakes- anything with apples will make me happy most nights.

  3. Looks yummy! I have loads of plum jam (from early july plum jam making bonanza) that I need to use up or will still be eating plum jam in 2020. So I totally have an excuse to make this now! Do you think any apples will work? what about whole wheat flour for the puff pastry? thanks!

  4. Holy cow, it's gorgeous!! Nice that it is tied to all those memories. Nigella never goes wrong on desserts, she's the best. Your photos came out great!!

  5. Buona! That really look great! And it seems also quite a bit lighter than a regular tarte tatin... Will have to sacrifice some apples to this!

  6. This looks wonderful! And it's always the best when great food can be paired with great memories :)

  7. LL - pecan pie and chocolate desserts are my absolute favorite too. I knew we agreed on this one ;o)
    Tori - glad this one fits your bill. It is so quick and easy it is a keeper.
    Moomser - I used golden instead of Granny Smith and it worked perfectly so I presume so. It doesn't cook long enough to soften apples to a pulp, which is what counts. And whole wheat flour works in my book any day. Why not?
    Nicole - thanks. Yes, Nigella is the best.
    Pola - you must! It is very light.
    Miri - I couldn't agree more. Thanks

  8. Man that looks time consuming but gorgeous! I love the look of the apples swirling with the crust swiveling around it. Art is what it is.

  9. Livininthekitchen - hi! Believe it or not this is one of the quickest tarts ever!

  10. We're so on the same wavelength! I made a tarte tatin although I have also made this tart too and I love how simple yet so supremely tasty it is!

  11. I'm thrilled by the idea of having something resembling tarte tatin in ten minutes. Nigella is a genius, with those nasty little tricks of hers..

  12. Looks amazing, it really do, thanks for sharing the recipe.


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