Apple Tarte Tatin

I love apples in my dessert and pastry. From apple pie to turnovers, the versatility of this humble fruit is one of the reasons why it appears on many of our loved desserts.

My personal favorite apple variety is Fuji apples. Growing up, I remember boxes of these apples in our kitchen and eating it whenever I can as an ungracefully thin and little kid from Manila. Over time, I learn how to appreciate different fruits thanks to my mother who prides herself as an adventurous eater. I would like to think that my palate is similar to hers because I can eat almost anything and be excited and curious to other flavor profiles that I can stumble upon. I think that is one of my strengths as someone who likes to work in pastry and culinary world.

This recipe is adapted from Dominique Ansel. His cookbook is my gateway to discovering my passion for this craft. I picked up his book in the beginning of 2015, and from there, I learned everything I need to learn from essential baking skills and knowledge to discipline and patience needed to survive in the pastry kitchen. I have to say that I owe this cookbook a lot because I have learned that my love for food is not limited to just consuming it, but also the chain of production that goes behind it from the source to the people who prepares it with love and passion.

Apple Tarte Tatin

Adapted from “The Secret Recipes” cookbook by Dominique Ansel


    Sablé Breton Cookie
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 85 g Granulated Sugar
  • 65 g Salted Butter
  • 90 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 g Baking Powder
  • 1 g Kosher Salt
  • Caramelized Apples
  • 137 g Granulated Sugar
  • 60 g Water
  • 35 g Unsalted Butter
  • 6 Gala or Honeycrisp Apples


The Day Before
Make Sablé Breton Cookie dough…
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine egg yolks and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
2. On low speed, add the softened butter to the mixture and mix until combined. Scrape.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Fold in the dry ingredients by hand to the egg mixture.
4. On a piece of parchment paper, draw a rectangle (6 by 9 inches). Flip the parchment over. Transfer the dough to the center of the rectangle.
5. With an offset spatula, spread the dough evenly onto the rectangle. Cover with another piece of parchment paper. And with a rolling pin, roll the dough evenly to the edges of the outline.
6. Transfer the dough to a sheet pan and place inside the refrigerator overnight.
The Day of
Bake the Cookie Base…
7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpain.
8. Remove the Sablé dough from the refrigerator. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 6 individual cookies and transfer to the lined sheet pan. Place inside the refrigerator for another 20 minutes.
9. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and bake in the oven for 8 minutes then rotate 180º, and bake for another 8 minutes until the sablé cookies turn golden brown. Let it cool down on a wire rack.
Make Caramelized Apples…
10. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
11. Make a caramel using wet method with the granulated sugar and water combined in a small saucepan.
12. Cook the sugar and water without stirring until the caramel reaches 175ºC and turns dark amber.
13. Whisk the butter into the caramel until all the butter has been incorporated and the caramel is smooth.
14. Divide the caramel equally into the prepared 3-inch cake pans. It should fill each pan about 1 cm deep.
15. Peel and core the apples. Slice the individual apple into 6 segments. Place 5 segments on the sides of the prepared cake pans with caramel and push the 6th segment into the center.
16. Place the pans with apples and caramel into a sheet pan and bake inside the oven for 2 hours. Making sure to push the apples down every 30 minutes with a spoon or an offset spatula.
17. After baking, the apples should lose half of its weight and turn dark amber.
18. Let it cool and place inside the refrigerator for an hour for the caramel to set and thicken.
Assembling the Apple Tarte Tatin…
19. Remove the caramelized apple from the refrigerator. And heat the bottom on a stove or with a kitchen torch.
20. Carefully pull the apple away from the mold using an offset spatula or a fork.
21. Invert pan and release the apple upside down and slide onto the Sablé cookie. Serve immediately with a dollop of Crème fraîche or sour cream.

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