It was time for me to put this great classic… Perfectly caramelized apples candied in butter on a wonderfully crispy pastry soaked in caramel… I give here an example with puff pastry, but you can also use shortcrust pastry. The only problem? It is very easy to miss this pie! I know something about that! All the tests were good, but I wanted an almost perfect visual… I tried almost 10 versions before arriving at this one. There was always juice after baking, or too light a caramel, or too sweet a pie, or overcooked apples on the bottom and almost uncooked on top. I have solved all these problems and offer you my version! With this one, you will be able to make several small pies or a large one…
Here I suggest a version where the apples are baked before being placed and stored in the pan. For me, this is the only way to soften them up so I can put more on. The main reason is that by cooking the apples in a separate pan, the apples will hardly give back any juice when baked.
Also, I make a caramel that I put in the bottom of the pan, but I don’t make it in the pan… You will find below the reason of this choice…
Recipe for the tarte tatin (for a 21cm tart):
200g of puff pastry (click for recipe) or shortcrust pastry
-a dozen apples (gala or cooking apples)
-90g of butter
Prepare the apples. Cut them into quarters and peel and core them.
In a large high-sided pan, put 40g of butter and 50g of sugar in the proportions indicated above. Place on hot fire.
Cook the apples with a wooden spoon or, better yet, by shaking the pan and popping them. The fire being strong, it is necessary to supervise but that does not risk to burn because the water which returns the apples prevents from burning the caramel. But you have to stay present! The apples should be tender and slightly caramelized. Let cool off from the heat, still in the pan.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
I prefer to make the caramel first in a pan, but it can also be made directly in the mold that will be used.
Bernard’s adviceWhy do I do it in a pan? Because I run a can of release grease (which I use in canelés) through the pan I use to make the pie. Moreover, in the case of small pies, it is easier to prepare the caramel and pour it into the relevant moulds afterwards…
Put 60g of sugar and 40g of butter (I use salted butter in this case) and a dash of water in the saucepan over moderate heat.
Let it cook.
You can mix with a wooden spoon without having to dip a brush in water, because this caramel will go under the apples… It is therefore not likely to crystallize.
It is necessary to obtain a beautiful amber color.
I use a 21 cm diameter tefal pan to make the pie. I also sprayed with a grease gun. Pour the caramel into the pan.
Let cool, then put 10 g of sugar and shake the pan so that it sticks to the edge.
if you want small pies, just pour the caramel into the small molds, just have a fairly thin layer at the bottom of each…
When the apples are cooled or lukewarm (they can be handled!!), fill the mould evenly. The apples are pre-cooked, so you can put 2 layers of them… Or put them on their edge.
Put the remaining 10g of butter on top. (I didn’t put it in the sugar ratio in the ingredients list, but you can lightly sprinkle the top of the apples with sugar one last time). Place the prepared pan, without the batter, in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry thinly on a sheet of parchment paper. With a plate, cut a circle with a knife.
And remove the excess dough.
Remove the dish from the oven and place the pastry circle on top. Fold the dough over the inside edge of the pan.
Bake in the oven at 200°C for 20 to 30 minutes (it depends on the power of the oven, but 200°C should be 200°C everywhere!!), until the puff pastry is cooked.
Take the pan out of the oven and let cool down… Because if you unmold right away, it’s almost a disaster! Once the pie has cooled, put it on the stove for a few seconds to heat up the bottom of the dish. Place a dish on top of the pan and turn it over.