Until I started this website, I didn’t know there was international controversy over the origin and cooking method of Tarte Tatin. I just knew it was a French upside-down apple pie, and delicious.
Dough for single pie crust:
2 TB butter, plus a bit more for buttering the pan
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
6 cups apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Spread butter in a 9-inch pie pan. Place 1 cup sugar and water in a small sauce pan over high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Allow the mixture to caramelize—it will get syrupy and turn brown. This takes about 10 minutes—just be patient. Swirl the pan from time to time but don’t stir. When it is golden brown, pour the caramel into the pie pan and swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Let the pan cool; the caramel will harden as it cools.
Melt 2 TB butter in a large skillet. Add the apples, 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon and mix well. Sauté the apples over medium heat until they soften, about 10-15 minutes. Cool the apples.
Arrange a neat layer of apples in the bottom of the caramelized pie pan. Since the pie will be inverted when it’s taken from the oven, this will be the top, and you want it to look nice. Pile the remaining apples evenly on top.
Cover the apples with pie crust, pinching the dough to fit just inside the pie pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes; the crust should be lightly browned. Place a large round serving platter over the pie and turn it upside down onto the platter. Serve the Tarte Tatin hot.
Tips from Jane
— I tend to use Cortland or Macoun apples, but any tart apple will do. I’ve used Granny Smithsduring the winter when choices are limited. One medium to large apple will give you about a cup of apple slices.
— The caramel gives a unique taste to the apples. While some people serve this with ice cream or whipped cream, I prefer it plain so you can appreciate all the flavors.