16-15: Tarte Tatin

I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.

Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏

16-15 Tarte Tatin

Most versions of Tarte Tatin are somewhat similar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.


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She also noted that it takes a longer baking time–she was right. I added the extra step of caramelizing the surface as noted in the Tips section–you can see the results of that at the end.


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Our trip to the local farmers’ market featured tons of varieties of apples, but I settled on two types of Jonathan apples, which according to the farmer himself were the BEST for making apple pie.


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Blurry picture of the dough chilling in my mom’s fridge after I remembered that I needed to take pictures–I didn’t have my regular camera, so forgive the poorly lit/focused iPhone pictures.


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Ended up only using 4 of the 6 apples I purchased, but they were big apples and I had a lot of slices.


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We rigged up this glass pie dish/round pan for easy oven handling. Downside–glass didn’t give quite the caramelization I wanted.


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Lining the bottom of the pan with sugar–I let this cook for double the recommended time and it still didn’t caramelize well. The oven was a bit laggy in terms of temperature, but using a glass pan didn’t help.


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Fancifully stacking and arranging apple slices.


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After many times around, I stack all the slices and sprinkle them with sugar.


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Dotted the top with butter, stuck it in the oven, and hoped for the best.


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Rolled out my dough for the top (bottom?) of the pie.


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We’ll call it…rustic.


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Poked some holes with a fork and stuck it back in the oven–for much longer than anticipated. Check it several times–it takes a while to cook all the way through.


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After much longer than anticipated, I finally pulled it. Well, it’s cooked–but I like a crunchy, caramelized top on my apple desserts.


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I pulled out the cooking torch I got for my mom many Christmases ago from Williams Sonoma, and used it for probably the 4th time ever in the whole time she’s had it to broil the top of this dessert. 🔥


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Probably not what the Tatin sisters intended, but I liked it. Served a la mode, it made a delicious end to our Labor Day BBQ and a nice activity to share with my mom.

Grade: A-


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