Tarte Tatin, the famed French caramel apple tart is a classic. No matter how perfect or imperfect it looks on the plate, a tarte tatin will taste heavenly. Pastry dough is placed over the top of caramelized apples and then baked in the oven. The tart is then inverted to reveal the buttery caramel soaked apples in all their glory. It is especially delicious served with scoops of ice cream or my vanilla bean custard sauce.
10 green apples (peeled)
1 9-inch pie crust dough (or store bought if you’re lazy like me)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
Peel, cut (in half) and core apples. Set aside.
In a 9-inch saucepan (with metal handle), melt butter and stir in sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. The sugar will melt and start to form a caramel sauce. It’s OK if there is a layer of butter floating on top. Don’t worry – it's not a dig deal.
Once the caramel has turned a light brown color, lower the flame to a simmer and carefully place all the apples in the saucepan. Make sure to evenly coat the apples with the caramel. Let the apples simmer for 10 minutes or so – stir occasionally.
Fun part. Use two forks to stack the apples on their sides (as if they were piggy backing each other – see picture). Make sure to fill your entire pan. Place a few apples in the center to fill the hole.
Place the 9 inch pie crust over the top of the apples and tuck the edges in.
Place in a 400 degree oven on the top rack and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Be sure to place a tray on the rack below to catch any juices that may boil over.
Take the tarte tatin out of the oven and wait for it to cool before flipping. Place a plate over the top of the saucepan and flip it quickly to avoid any sugary juices from dripping out.
Drizzle with vanilla bean custard sauce.
While the tart is cooling, you can prepare the custard sauce.
Vanilla Bean Custard Sauce
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
Place whipping cream in a saucepan. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Bring cream to simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a metal bowl to blend. Whisk in hot cream. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens. About 5 minutes. Do not boil or scald the sauce. Cover and refrigerate custard sauce until cold, about 3 hours.
(This can be prepared 1 day ahead if desired. Keep refrigerated.)