Fallen tarte …

My attempt this week at tarte tatin did not turn out well.

Step one: mix melted butter and suger together and line the base of a pan.  For starters, I thought the butter & sugar mixture that I lined the bottom of the pan with, didn’t quite look enough. So I threw in some more butter and sugar, but made the mistake of not keeping the same proportions and I think there was too much butter.

Step two: peel & quarter apples & place into the sugar mix. Bake for 1hr – 1 1/4 hrs.  Well I used a mix of pears and apples together – all the best cooks tell me to use what you have on hand, so that’s what I did. Now the pears were very juicy, so combined with too much butter in the sugar mix, I think there was just too much liquid altogether.

Step three: cover with the pastry layer, bake again for 20-25 minutes.  This step I was happy with – and not only because I finally remembered to grab the camera!  I’m a fan of shortcrust pastry in tarte tatin, puff pastry just doesn’t seem right to me, so I made my own and it  turned out just as I had hoped.  I made one quantity in the processor so that it didn’t get overworked, chilled it while the fruit & caramel was baking, rolled it quickly then topped the already-baked fruit & tucked it in.IMG_2559

Back in the oven for about 20 minutes and it was ready.  IMG_2561

Now what was the problem with the excess liquid? Well, that meant that there was too much runny caramel with the fruit and this led me to make my next mistake – letting it cool slightly before turning it out.

Hmm, yes, well all the better cooks than me will know what that means!

Yes, the toffee started to set, making it difficult to turn out resulting in complete loss of shape  with the fruit and some damage to the pastry base – hence my fallen tarte. Then trying to eat the harder toffee bits put our teeth in just a little danger!

Still it tasted good and served with simple cream poured over, it was a delicious sweet, fruity, warm winter dessert – just what you want at this time of year.

Enjoy! IMG_2568

RECIPE:  (what I probably should have stuck to!)

30g unsalted butter, melted

120g sugar

4 apples or pears, peeled & quartered



150g all purpose flour

85g unsalted butter

pinch of salt

2-4 tablespoons ice water


Preheat oven to 200C.

Mix together the melted butter & sugar, line the bottom of a cake tin. Place the quartered fruit into the sugar mix in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with powdered cinnamon (optional), bake for 1 – 1 1/4 hrs.

To make the pastry, place the flour, salt & butter into the bowl of a food processor, place the entire bowl into the freezer for about 15minutes so that all of it is nice & cold to work with. Remove from freezer & pulse until the butter is around the size of small peas. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until the pastry comes together as a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface & shape into a round, slightly flatten it, wrap in plastic wrap & chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator & roll out to the size of the tin.

Remove fruit from oven, lay over the pastry base tucking in edges, bake for 20-25 minutes.

Turn out onto a serving plate immediately.

Serve with whatever you like to eat it with & enjoy!



  1. When I used to make these for a living I would make the caramelized sugar and pour it in the bottom of the pan and then place the fruit on top. When flipping the tart onto a dish be sure to have a towel to cover your hands. The juice can burn. Great read.

  2. Well done for giving it a try!! sounds like you had just a bit too much sugar in it. Have you seen the Tatin post on my blog? Some of the instructions might help with your next attempt – please try again, it’s not too difficult and so worthwhile, not to mention delicious!

  3. Keep on trying…..I love puff pastry tatins, but I admit it is a lot more work. Looks delicious anyway! I agree with the above commet, crumble sounds great, and I am sure it tasted good!

      1. I had a hard time with my first tatin too…..mine totally stuck to the pan and ended up scraping it off and then having the pastry with some cream. But, it was delish anyway!

      2. Thanks, that gives me hope! This was actually my 2nd go, the first one turned out really well except my pastry was too hard – perhaps I should go back to that recipe (different method) and improve the pastry…

      3. It took me a few times to get it right, such a simple thing, but one teeny mistake….I think it’s one of those recipes that once you get it, you know! Good luck!

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