Yesterday, we had impromptu plans to have dinner with friends, and my job was to bring dessert. I wanted something that would feel like fall and yet be quick and easy. I had apples, pears and not much else to work with. I decided to try my hand at Tarte Tatin, which is just a fancy way of saying an Upside-down Apple Tart or Apple Pie. This recipe began from one I found on Southern Fried French, one of my favorite blogs. However, with no time to make the pastry, I had to use refrigerated pie crusts. And, I only had Granny Smith apples so I had to change things up a bit. The result was fabulous!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 (if medium) or 8 (if small) tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and peeled. Cut 4-5 in half and the rest in quarters. You can use other apples but if they are sweet apples then you may want to leave out the brown sugar.
- 3-4 pears, peeled and cored, then cut into large pieces (don’t peel these until the apples are almost done)
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 box Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts
You will need a dish that’s about 8 inches across and 2 inches deep. I used my cast iron skillet, which is perfect because it works from start to finish without messing up more dishes.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Place the peeled and cut apples in a large bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir gently to coat all the apple pieces.
Melt the butter in the skillet, then remove from the heat and sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar evenly over the butter. Place the apple halves, cut side down, on top of the sugar and then place the quartered pieces around and in all the spaces. Cook for about an hour.
When the apples are done, remove the pan from the oven and place the pear pieces right on top of the apples. Pears are so much softer than apples, so it doesn’t take them as long to cook.
Now, you can follow the original recipe and make your own pastry, which I fully intend to do at some point because store-bought can never beat homemade pastry. However, in a pinch it’s ok to use the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, which is what I did on this occasion.
Take both pie crusts out of the box and lay right on top of the pears. Tuck in all around the edges and bake for about 45-50 minutes more, then take out of the oven and leave it in the skillet. The crust will be a nice golden brown.
When ready to serve, place a plate over the top and flip the tarte onto the plate. Don’t worry about filling running off the plate, it’s all nicely contained. We served with good vanilla ice cream. Yummy!