Apple Tarte Tartin

With 42 bushes of Heirloom Newtown Pipin Apples you have to ask – what to do with so many apples? We make apple butter, caramelized apple preserves, a french apple mustard and an apple & onion relish – but what I like most with the abundance of apples is the tarte tartin that I make for the holidays.

Quite simply, a decadent desert – sweet with caramel dripping off  tart apples. Just enough work at the end of a dinner to delight both family and friends, filling the house with a lovely fragrance of baking apples, buttery caramel and warm winter spices.

I make the pie crust in advance so you only need to attend to the apples and the caramel just before your dinner.

Apple Tarte Tartin

Apple Tarte Tartin

Apple Tarte Tartin

8  to 9 Newton Pipin apples or any variety that you enjoy – try some thing tart like a Winesap.

1 Lemon for juice & zest

4 oz Unsalted butter – we use Ronnybrook – remember the better the butter the better the caramel

1/2 cup sugar

Optional Spices i.e. nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and or vanilla

1 All Butter Pie Crust (See separate post)

1 Cast iron skillet or any pan that can be used to cook in a hot oven


1 – Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2 – Zest the lemon – reserve

3 – Juice the lemon and add it to a bowl of water – this is your acidulated water.

4 – Peel core and slice the apples adding the slices to acidulated water to keep from browning – reserve.

5 -Spread the butter on the bottom of the skillet –  sprinkling the sugar on top. cook to a syrup.

6 – Add the zest of the lemon. I also add vanilla and nutmeg but cinnamon is also nice.

As an option you can now add 1/2 t sea salt if your prefer a salted caramel.

7 – Drain the apples on paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.  Pat dry with a second towel.

8- Working quickly make concentric circles of apples around the skillet.  Layer the apples in two or three neat layers – mounding to the middle.

9 – Cover the apples and cook on top of the stove over a moderate heat undisturbed for 20 minutes until the apples are golden and the juices are bubbling.

10 – Remove the cover and move the apples to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes – this will help to reduce the liquid and dry out the apples allowing them to caramelize.

11 -While the apples are baking, roll out the pie crust on a floured surface – sized just about 2 “ larger than your skillet/pan.

12 – remove the apples from the oven and lay the crust over the apples – trimming and tucking the pie crust to firmly hold the apples.

13 – Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.

14 – Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Undisturbed.

15 – Put a platter over the skillet – inverting  the tart onto the platter.  Replace any apples that have stuck to the skillet and serve immediately.