Apple desserts are my least favorite.
Alan is the apple dessert lover. He’s the one who will order the apple crumble anytime it’s on the menu; I go for the creme brulees, panna cottas or flourless chocolate cakes. My eyes won’t even stop on anything apple on the menu; I’m always surprised when Alan’s apple dessert arrives and I didn’t even know that was an option.
So when this was made last week it was mostly for him. I knew I’d have a taste or two (just to make sure it was blog-worthy) and the girls would likely enjoy some as well. No one was more surprised than me when I ate an entire piece, reached for a second, then had to have just one more…and then made an entire second apple tarte tatin the very next day!
What makes this apple tarte tatin so much better than other apple desserts are three things, the first being that because the crust is baked on the top, it’s crumbly and flaky throughout, not just on the edges. Also, the apple-to-crust ratio is much smaller than something like an apple pie. And then you have the sweet caramel-like glaze that coats it all and brings the flavors and textures together perfectly. The sticky-sweetness that runs down the edges is my favorite – it’s what keeps me reaching for that second and third piece.
There are other reasons I love this dessert so much, too. It disappears quickly and there aren’t much in the way of leftovers, which can be nice sometimes. It also doesn’t take much time or effort to throw together (especially if you’re not much of a pastry maker and take the purchased pie dough route). It’s also one of the most fun desserts I’ve made in awhile. Flipping it out of the pan and seeing the gorgeous arrangement of apples along with a dripping caramel sauce is really a pleasure.
If you’ve never tried making an apple tarte tatin, I highly suggest you give it a try; with apples in season right now it’s the perfect time. No one needs to know if you don’t share :-)
- 4-5 golden delicious apples
- 6 T butter, melted (unsalted)
- 6 T granulated sugar
- pie dough, either your own favorite recipe or store-bought
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Peel, core and slice apples into eighths.
- Using an oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great), melt the butter over med-high heat. Sprinkle sugar over butter and stir. Continue cooking sugar and butter until it just starts to turn a deeper color (sort of a pale amber).
- Remove pan from heat and place apples in pan in a circular pattern (be careful, the sugar mixture is extremely hot). Place back on heat and allow to cook for about 7-8 minutes longer, or until the bottoms of the apples are nicely browned. (At this point, if you have any extra apple slices you can fit them in now that some of the apples have cooked down). Flip apples and cook for another 7-8 minutes until the other sides are nicely browned.
- Remove pan from heat and quickly top the apples with pie dough. (If your skillet is smaller than the dough you can either cut it to fit or just allow the edges to come up and over the edge of the pan; I like to leave it a bit larger). Make a few slits in the top of dough to allow steam to escape.
- Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes or so, until the crust is golden brown. Remove pan from oven (don't forget that the handle will be hot!) and immediately flip onto a wired rack (put foil, parchment paper, etc. under it to catch the drips).
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature!