I think this might have been my favorite challenge yet so far. I never heard of tarte tatin until I watched it on GBBO and I am so glad I discovered it because it is delicious!
This is the first time I’ve made rough puff pastry and caramel sauce from scratch. This tart is three elements: the puff pastry, caramel, and fruit. The traditional tarte tatin is made with apples and according to Wikipedia was named after the French hotel that served it as their signature dish.
I kept the traditional apple flavor for my tart, and I added in some pears and marzipan for an almond flavor. The marzipan definitely took the flavor to the next level. The apples balanced out the sweetness of the pears. This apple pear tarte tatin is one of my favorite recipes.
Rough Puff Pastry Crust
I started off making the rough puff pastry. I used Flavor Bender’s Rough Puff recipe. Rough puff is a quick way to get all the buttery laminated layers of traditional puff pastry using a lot less time.
I had to grate the butter and put chunks of it into the actual dough. The ingredients have to stay cold the whole time, so I had to work quickly. The butter can’t melt or it will absorb into the dough and there won’t be any layers.
I put everything in the freezer for a little bit before I started the dough. I even put the flour in there too! Once the pastry is done, stick it in the fridge so you can prepare the caramel and the fruit.
After the puff pastry, I started on the caramel sauce. Caramel sauce is supposed to be pretty tricky to make, so I did extensive reading before hand to minimize my chance of error. I used Fifteen Spatula’s Caramel Sauce recipe and she gave so many helpful tips.
The main thing with making caramel is you have to make sure the sugar on the sides doesn’t start to crystallize. If it does it starts a whole chain reaction and your caramel is toast. So I stared at that sugar the whole 10 minutes it took. When it looked like one side was starting to crystallize, I had a baster filled with water and just put a few droplets on that side to get the sugar wet again and it seemed to work.
Once the sugar started turning amber, I took it off the heat and mixed in the heavy cream. The sugar seized up a bit when I added in the heavy cream, but I just put it back on low heat and kept stirring until I felt that all the sugar pieces had melted and it was nice and smooth.
Assemble and Bake
Once the caramel was finished, I poured the amount I wanted into the large cast iron skillet I would be cooking the tart in.
I cut up my fruit and assembled it nicely in a circle on top of the caramel. When the fruit cooks it will get caramelized and tender. After the fruit went into the skillet, I rolled out some store-bought the marzipan and laid it on top of the fruit.
Then finally I rolled out my puff pastry and cut out a circle and tucked it on top of everything. Remember to cut a few slits on the top so the steam can evaporate. If you don’t do this you will get a soggy bottom when you flip it over!
The interesting part about a tarte tatin is you’re actually assembling it and baking it upside down. Once cooked, you have to flip it out of the skillet onto the plate. Then you’ll see your lovely caramelized fruit and the puff pastry will be the crust on the bottom.
The puff pastry is super buttery, flaky and crunchy. Paired with the tender caramelized fruit and the tasty almond flavor of the marzipan, this tart is a definite keeper.
Apple Pear Tarte Tatin
- 2-3 Pears, sliced
- 2-3 Apples, sliced
- 1 Tube Marzipan
Rough Puff Pastry, From The Flavor Blender
- 3 + 14 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter, grated, separated and chilled
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour, chilled
- 8-12 Tbsp Ice Water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Lemon Juice
Caramel, From Fifteen Spatulas
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Water
- ¾ Cup Coconut Milk (or Heavy Cream)
- 2 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- First, make your rough puff pastry. Blend the flour, salt and 3 Tbsp of butter together. Then add the lemon juice, and gradually add the ice water until it sticks together, but isn’t tacky.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle and put half of the grated butter on 2/3 of the rolled out dough. Fold the empty third on top of the butter, and then the final third on top of that like a folding a business letter. Then turn 90° and roll out again, put the other half of the grated butter on 2/3 of the dough and fold into thirds again. Repeat the 90° turn, roll out, and folding into thirds 3 more times for a total of 5 turns. Put your completed pastry into fridge to rest for at least a half hour.
- Next is the caramel. Add the sugar and water into a large non-stick pan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar starts to turn an amber color. Do not mix! You want to keep a close eye on the the sugar and use a baster to drop some water droplets on any edges that look like they're starting to crystallize. This should stop the chain reaction.
- Once the color starts turning, take off the heat and add in your cream. It will foam and it may seize up, just continue to mix until it calms down. Put it back on low heat and add the butter and vanilla. Once it's all incorporated your caramel is complete. Put about half of it into a large 12" skillet that you will be cooking your Tarte Tatin in.
- Assemble your sliced fruit into a circle in the pan over the caramel. Then roll out your marzipan and place over the fruit. Roll out your puff pastry and cut into a circle slightly larger than the size of the skillet. Put over the fruit and tuck the sides down. Cut slits into the center of the pastry.
- Bake at 400°F for 20-30 minutes. The puff pastry should be golden brown. Let cool down about 5-10 minutes and while it’s still warm, put a plate over the skillet and flip to invert the pastry. Eat warm!