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Suvir Saran

The Tarte Tatin Topic

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What kind of pan is best?

My SIL baked a tarte tatin which was one of the best desserts I have every eaten. She's a very good baker, and this was really out of this world. I don't do a lot of baking, but my husband gives good crust, so we are going to take the leap. She gave me the recipe, and clearly I have no pan that works. Her recipe--and several others I have looked at--calls for a 12 inch non-stick oven-proof skillet with curved sides that are at least 1.75 inches high. Her pan looked like a restaurant fry skillet. I own mainly cast iron, enamel and stainless cookwear, and nothing even resembling this type of pan. A workhorse skillet in this size would be nice to have anyway--an early holiday gift for myself.

What kind of surface should I get? I own no non-stick pans. What exactly does that mean, anyway? I assume non-stick has evolved since the days of teflon, but I am clueless. Should the pan be aluminum? Can I find this perhaps at a giant restaurant supply place or will I have to pony up for something from Sur la Table? What to buy?

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Don't worry too much about the pan. Any frying pan that's over one inch deep will do. A 12 inch skillet is much too large. Try 8 inch or at the most 10" otherwise it will be too unwieldy. All you have to worry about is that the handle will take the high heat when you finish off in the oven. If necessary I've found that just leaving the oven door slightly ajar with the handle sticking out works pretty well.

In all due modesty try my recipe. Which you can find right here.

Its a combination of several recipes that I've played with over the last 20 years. Its tried & proven in multiple attempts.

All I can say is that our French friends love it. They say that I must have been a Frenchman in a previous life. I'm flattered!

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Thanks, Dave, your recipe looks great and a pictorial is always welcome. My SIL's recipe does indeed call for enough apples and pastry for a 12 inch pan, which is what she uses. She made it for my in-law's anniversary dinner and it served 12.

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Thanks, Dave, your recipe looks great and a pictorial is always welcome. My SIL's recipe does indeed call for enough apples and pastry for a 12 inch pan, which is what she uses. She made it for my in-law's anniversary dinner and it served 12.

Not saying that a 12" skillet can't be done, but its a challenge. Especially for one just starting to make tarte tatin.

I can't say that I've seen many 12 inchers her in France. Two 8" tarts would be somewhat over the square inches of one 12" tart and maybe easier to make??

I'll be interested to see how you proceed.

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gallery_41580_4407_58209.jpg

gallery_41580_4407_18861.jpg

My Tarte Tatin is a combination of my own pastry recipe combined with a recipe for the apples out of the Saveur Cooks Authentic French Cookbook.  You cook the apples down on day one, let the apple cool overnight which brings the apple and caramel together, then you layer on the pastry and do the final baking on day two. 

Apples

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

10-12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in half

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Pastry

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup cake flour

1 tbsp. superfine granulated sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces

½ cup Crisco shortening, chilled, cut into pieces

½ cup ice water

Heat oven to 400°. Heat a 10-12" round and 2-3" deep heavy ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter to skillet and melt. Add sugar to skillet and stir with butter until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and arrange apples side by side in skillet.

Place skillet in oven and let cook for 1 hour or until apples are soft and puffy. Remove skillet from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover skillet with foil and refrigerate overnight. This lets the apples cool down into the caramelized sugar.

To make the pastry, combine flour, cake flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter and Crisco into small pea size bits. Mix in enough ice water with a fork until the pastry comes together. Form pastry into a ball and cover completely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate pastry for at least one hour before using.

To complete the Tarte Tatin, heat oven to 350°. Take the the skillet and the pastry from the refrigerator. Roll out the pastry to 1/8" thickness. Gently place the pastry over the apples in the skillet. Trim edge of pastry so that about ½" overhangs skillet. Press in edges of pastry to inside of skillet.

Bake skillet in oven just until pastry is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

To unmold the Tarte Tatin, place a plate over the top of skillet and carefully turn over the skillet. The Tarte Tatin should easily invert onto the plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

I recently modified my recipe and found the results even better than the above.

I changed the apple variety from Granny Smith to Pinova. The Pinova seems to be less tart than the Granny Smith and needs less sugar. It also holds it's shape better than the Granny Smith.

Instead of laying the apples halves down lengthwise per the above photo, I stacked them on end. It gave the Tatin more height and filled the skillet with more apples.

I added about 1 tablespoon of corn syrup to the butter and sugar mixture to help in the caramelization of the apples.

In my previous recipe I called for a non-stick skillet. This time I went back to the old tried and true black, cast iron, 3" deep skillet. Worked like a charm with no problems turning the Tatin out of the skillet.

Sorry, didn't get any photos this time around, but that only means I'll have to bake another Tatin just to show off. :smile:

I want a slice of Mr. Hatfield's Tatin. Looks delicious.

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Don't hold your breath, Dave! It's going to take me weeks to work up to this. I usually have a New Years Day dinner, so that's what I'm shootin' for. Now I'm just thinking about it. A lot.

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Don't hold your breath, Dave! It's going to take me weeks to work up to this. I usually have a New Years Day dinner, so that's what I'm shootin' for. Now I'm just thinking about it. A lot.

Just remember that practice makes perfect. What are family & friends for if not to practice on? They'll eat our experiments and praise the effort if not the results.

Also, in my case, Linda is my severest critic. Genuine praise, but genuine criticism as well.

David, Thanks for the compliment. It means something coming from one who makes TT's that look as delicious as yours!

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What kind of pan is best?

My SIL baked a tarte tatin which was one of the best desserts I have every eaten. She's a very good baker, and this was really out of this world. I don't do a lot of baking, but my husband gives good crust, so we are going to take the leap. She gave me the recipe, and clearly I have no pan that works. Her recipe--and several others I have looked at--calls for a 12 inch non-stick oven-proof skillet with curved sides that are at least 1.75 inches high. Her pan looked like a restaurant fry skillet. I own mainly cast iron, enamel and stainless cookwear, and nothing even resembling this type of pan. A workhorse skillet in this size would be nice to have anyway--an early holiday gift for myself.

What kind of surface should I get? I own no non-stick pans. What exactly does that mean, anyway?  I assume non-stick has evolved since the days of teflon, but I am clueless. Should the pan be aluminum? Can I find this perhaps at a giant restaurant supply place or will I have to pony up for something from Sur la Table? What to buy?

I use a 10" cast iron skillet.

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The first Tarte Tatin of this season. This year I made the Tarte with Golden Delicious apples harvested not too far away in the Wenatchee Valley of Central Washington. The Golden Delicious is sweet and holds its shape quite well during the long baking process. I used my standard pastry crust base, but in a few weeks I'll make another Tarte using puff pastry for the base.

066.JPG

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