The combination of soft-cooked, full-flavoured apples, crisp flaky pastry and the bittersweet flavour of caramel make for an absolutely delicious dessert or anytime-of-the-day treat. Best of all, this classic Tarte Tatin is gluten-free! The recipe is from Baked to Perfection by Katarina Cermelj.
Read our in-depth review of Baked to Perfection by Katarina Cermelj by our regular guest writer Nicky. Nicky and her husband follow a strictly gluten-free diet and assessed this book through the lens of their experiences of gluten-free cooking.
Gluten-Free Tarte Tatin with Flaky Pastry
I’ve tested numerous ways of preparing tarte tatin (mostly to do with what you do to the apples) and this one is by far my favourite. Not only is it about as fuss-free as it gets, it also produces the most consistently mouthwatering results. Baking the apples uncovered for 25 minutes ensures that some of the water they release evaporates before the pastry goes on and the remaining juices concentrate into sticky deliciousness. The results: no soggy pastry or apple mushiness – just crisp, flaky pastry, tender apples and caramel goodness.
- ½ quantity of sweet flaky all-butter pastry
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 5-6 sweet–tart, firm eating apples (such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady or Braeburn), peeled, cored and quartered
- (Optional) cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
Pre-make the pastry according to the instructions below.
You’ll need a 23cm pie tin. Adjust the oven shelf to the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C and remove the flaky pie crust from the fridge or freezer to come up to room temperature as directed on page 200 (to prevent cracking).
In a saucepan, cook the sugar over a medium heat for 5–8 minutes until completely melted and a deep amber colour.
Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir well until fully melted.
Pour the caramel into the pie tin.
Arrange the apple quarters face downwards on top of the caramel layer, fanning them in concentric circles, beginning around the outside edge of the pie tin and working inwards to cover the caramel. Make sure to pack the apples snugly together, almost overcrowding them, as they will shrink during baking.
Place the pie tin on a large baking tray or sheet and bake the apples, without a pastry lid for 25 minutes. Although the apple juices and caramel are fairly unlikely to overflow while baking, I recommend you place the pie tin on to a large baking tray or sheet to catch any stray liquids and prevent them from burning on the bottom of the oven (and smoking out your kitchen). After the 25 minutes, they will have released some of their juices and will be slightly softened.
While the apples are baking, roll out the pastry to about 4mm thick and cut out a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. Return the pastry circle to the fridge until needed.
After 25 minutes in the oven, remove the pie tin and cool the filling at room temperature for about 10 minutes – this will ensure that the pastry doesn’t melt on contact with the hot apples and caramel.
Then, cover the apples with the pastry circle, tuck in the edges, make a small hole or slit in the middle to help release steam during baking, and return the dish to the oven. Bake the tatin for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10–15 minutes. Then, place a plate slightly larger than the pie dish on top and invert the tart on to it. I don’t recommend you wait for more than 10–15 minutes before turning out the tarte tatin on to a plate, as the caramel will start to cool and set, resulting in the apples sticking to the pie tin.
Serve warm, with cream or a scoop of ice cream, if you wish.
Best on the day, but you can keep it lightly covered with kitchen paper for up to 2 days. Don’t use a closed container as that would soften the crust.
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Baked to Perfection by Katarina Cermelj from publisher Bloomsbury Absolute. Recipe photography in this post by Nicky Bramley.