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Recipe for :

Tarte Tatin

This recipe comes from Chef Jim Fisher who now runs cooking holidays in the Dordogne.

If you would like to know more about Jim and how he gained his love of cooking why not have a look at his biography page <click here>

To find out more about the cooking holidays in France at Jim's cooking school in the Dordogne you will need to visit his web site <click here>

Jim said about this recipe:

The story goes that one day in France, many years ago, two sisters were preparing a large meal, the dessert of which was to be apple tart, a local speciality. The tension in the kitchen was obviously so high that an accident was bound to happen, and so it did; one of the sisters, balancing the cooked tart in her nervous arms, tripped, pitching the tart to the ground. As there was no other dessert on offer the two sisters put their heads together and came up with the idea of scooping up the broken tart and placing it upside down on the serving dish so as to hide the shattered pastry. The tart, in its new guise was served to the guests. Much to the sisters' surprise it was an instant success and became known ever after as Tarte Tatin in honour of those two wily sisters Tatin.


For the pastry:
100g (4oz) plain flour
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
pinch of salt
a little cold water

The filling:
6 - 8 eating apples
a "slug" of brandy, or Calvados
75g (3 oz) caster sugar
75g (3 oz) unsalted butter


The pastry:

  • Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a roomy bowl and add the butter. Gently rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add a little cold water and 'cut' it into the mixture with a round-bladed knife. Add a little more water if necessary but as soon as the mixture begins to come together go in with your hands and bring it all together into a ball.
  • Wrap in Clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

The filling:

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas Mk 6 (400°F / 200°C)
  • Peel, quarter and core the apples.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed oven-proof frying pan. Add the apples and fry them over a medium heat, tossing frequently until they begin to turn brown and are tender.
  • Add the sugar and butter, and continue to cook until the butter / sugar mixture has caramelised.
  • Add a good 'splash' of brandy or Calvados, then carefully tip the pan towards the flame, igniting the spirit. Allow to flame off.
  • Roll the pastry to around a little larger than the pan and 60 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Lay it over the apples, tucking the excess pastry around the edges down into the pan.
  • Place in the oven on the center shelf and bake for about fifteen to twenty minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • To serve, loosen the edges of the tart and place a large plate over the pan. Invert it so that the tart falls out onto the plate. Serve with toffee ice cream . . . <click here>

Serves 8

Chef Jim Fisher