Plates from the Park: Tarte Tatin


Now in its eighth year, the Georgetown Farmers’ Market in Rose Park, sponsored by the Friends of Rose Park in cooperation with the D.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, is open from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday (rain or shine) until the last Wednesday in October at the corner of O and 26th Streets.

Each week, the Friends of Rose Park suggest a recipe using ingredients in season and available at the farmer’s market. This week, we are featuring a recipe for tarte tatin, provided by Victoria Delmon of the Friends of Rose Park:

“Tarte tatin is an upside-down dessert of pasty and apples bathed in caramel. It was allegedly created by the Tatin sisters of France’s Loire Valley while trying to repair a baking error. Whether it was created due to error or not, it tastes wonderful. To the pastry chef’s advantage, the pastry itself does not have to be pristinely rolled, since it is on the bottom of the dessert. This particular recipe was handed down from my husband’s French grandmother. It is simple, quick to prepare and, if dairy-free margarine is substituted for the butter, serves well as a dairy-free dessert.”

• 1 cup of flour (white or brown)
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
• 2 tablespoons wine or cider vinegar
• Cinnamon

• 3 1/2 pounds small apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

To prepare crust, combine flour, sugar and a pinch of cinnamon in a mixing bowl or food processor. Add the cubes of chilled butter; mix or pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add vinegar, and mix or pulse until mixture forms clumps. Gently press dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap; freeze for 30 minutes or cool in fridge for 2 hours.

To prepare filling, combine apples and juice in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Melt in a 9 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup sugar to pan; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and pour caramel mixture into 8-inch cake tin. Leave to cool and set. Arrange half of apples, rounded side down, in a circular pattern over caramel mixture and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with remaining apples.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll dough on a heavily floured surface until approximately 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick. Place dough over apples; fold edges under. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of pan. Carefully invert tart onto plate. Serve warm or cold. Pears or sliced bananas may also be substituted for the apples.

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