Galvin brothers’ classic apple tarte tatin
- September 2021
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus setting, cooling and a few hours/overnight chilling.
Learn how to make perfect tartin tatin with our recipe from Chris and Jeff Galvin. Caramelised apples top golden pastry in this classic French pud.
Liked this? You’ll love our apricot and almond tarte tatin recipe.
- 28.8g fat (17.6g saturated)
- 58.1g (51g sugars)
- 8-10 large pink lady or braeburn apples
- 120g all-butter puff pastry
- Plain flour for dusting
- 110g salted butter, softened
- 130g caster sugar
For the crème normande
- 120ml crème fraîche
- 40g icing sugar, sifted
- 1½ tbsp calvados (or another apple brandy)
You’ll also need
- 20cm deep-sided ovenproof pan (heavy based, preferably cast iron)
- Peel the apples at least a few hours and up to a day ahead, then chill in the fridge uncovered (see Know How).
- Make the crème normande. Mix the crème fraîche, icing sugar and calvados in a small bowl until combined. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours until firm.
- Lightly dust the pastry with flour, then roll out to a 21cm disc. Use a fork to prick the pastry all over, cover loosely to prevent it drying out, then chill in the fridge for 40 minutes.
- Take the apples out of the fridge, then halve and core them. Spread the softened butter in an even layer over the base of the pan and a little up the sides. Sprinkle over the sugar, then arrange the apples on top in a circular pattern, overlapping them so they rest on their sides.
- Put the pan on the hob over a medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sugar starts to caramelise and the apples soften (see Know How). Keep an eye on the apples, carefully lifting one every so often to make sure the tops aren’t taking on too much colour. You may need to move the pan around the hob to ensure the apples and caramel cook evenly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Lay the chilled pastry over the apples, tucking in the edges so the fruit is fully covered.
- Heat the oven to 180°C fan/ gas 6. Bake the tarte for 20 minutes, then turn the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4 and cook for 20 minutes more until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- Remove the tarte from the oven. You need to turn it out of the pan immediately or it may stick to it. Gently run a small knife around the edge of the pastry to loosen any hardened caramel. Put an upturned serving plate (with a rim) over the pan, then carefully flip the tarte onto the plate and remove the pan.
- Slice the tarte tatin and serve warm or at room temperature with a generous dollop of crème normande.
Watch how to make the tarte tatin here:
A good quality store-bought puff pastry gives great results, but if you fancy stretching your skills, try making your own, with our ‘How to make foolproof puff pastry’ guide.
The tart is best eaten on the day it’s made, but you can prep it a few hours in advance. Cook to the end of step 6, then turn it out onto a serving plate and leave until ready to serve. It’s great at room temperature.
Pastry: The puff pastry forms a lid over the apples, trapping in their moisture so they cook in the caramel. At Galvin the pastry is freshly rolled out – at home, you could either use a block of puff pastry or, if you prefer, buy a ready-rolled sheet. Be sure to buy all-butter for best flavour and puff!
Apples: A crisp dessert apple is the best choice as they hold up against the caramel and the long cooking time. Braeburn and pink lady are the Galvin brothers’ picks. Peeling the apples ahead isn’t essential but it dries them out, helping the caramelisation when you cook them. They’ll brown in the fridge but that’s fine.
Caramel: Salted butter is key for the colour and taste. Take your time cooking the apples (step 3). They’ll release juice, forming a rich caramel. Check the apples regularly and be brave – you want the caramel to darken to a rich amber before topping it with the pastry. Move the pan around if one side is cooking faster.
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