Daring Bakers Do Tarte Tatin


For the March Daring bakers’ challenge, Korena from Korena in the Kitchen taught us that some treats are best enjoyed upside down. She  challenged us to make a tarte tatin from scratch.

I was very excited to see this months challenge, back to desserts!  The Tarte Tatin looked delicious!

As excited as I was that we were making a dessert this month, I can’t have it, blah!  It is Lent and I give up all junk, (sweets, desserts, chips, pop, fast food, pizza, etc.)  My baking has slowed down quite a bit over Lent, because it is all so tempting!

I didn’t want to miss this months. I decided to make a small one and if the reviews were good I would make a regular size one, when Lent was over.  I cut the recipe in a third of posted recipe.

Tarte Tatin

Rough Puff Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cold
¼ tsp fine salt
¼ cup (60 ml) ice cold water

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.


2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour. With a pastry blender (or two table knives) cut in the butter until the mixture in crumbly but even, with pea-sized pieces of butter.



3. Make a well in the middle and pour in the ice cold water.


4. Toss the flour/butter and water together with a fork until the dough starts to clump together.  Turn the dough out onto your work surface – don’t worry if there are still pockets of dry flour.


5. Gently knead and squeeze the mixture a few times just enough to bring it together into a square (a bench scraper is helpful for this). Be careful not to overwork the dough: there should be visible bits of butter and it should still look very rough.


6. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a rectangle about 10” (25 cm) long.


7. Fold the bottom third of the dough up into the middle, and fold the top third down, like you are folding a letter. This is one fold. Turn the dough a one quarter turn so that one of the open edges is facing you, and roll out again into a 10” (25 cm) rectangle. Fold again – this is the second fold. Repeat the rolling and folding 3 more times, for 5 folds total. Your dough will get smoother and neater looking with each fold (the pictures show the first and fifth folds).


The dough looks lovely, and so easy!


If your kitchen is very warm and the dough gets too soft/sticky to do all the folds at once, chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes between folds. After the fifth fold, use your rolling pin to tap the dough into a neat square. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for a least 1 hour, or overnight.


6 large or 7-8 medium-sized apples
Juice of half a lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use salted and skip the salt)
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
pinch salt
Rough Puff Pastry, above


1. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Remove the cores in such a way that each apple quarter has a flat inner side: when placed rounded-side-up, it should sit on a flat base.


2. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup (80 ml) (2-1/2 oz) (65 gm) sugar. This will help draw out some of the moisture from the apples and prevent an overly runny caramel. Set aside for 15 minutes.


3. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 375˚F

4. Melt the butter in a very heavy, 9” or 10” (23 cm or 24 cm) oven-proof saucepan over medium heat


5. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup sugar.


6. Stir with a whisk until the sugar melts and becomes a pale, smooth caramel. The sugar will seem dry and chunky at first, then will start to melt and smooth out. If the butter appears to separate out from the caramel, just keep whisking until it is a cohesive sauce. Remove from the heat.


And this is where the whole thing fell apart!!! 

I followed the directions to the letter.

Mine appeared to ‘foam’?


Then separate, as it recipe said it might, but keep whisking, so i did!

Looks awful…


I was excited it finally came together!


I added the apples and went to stir…


Something went wrong.  It’s not caramel, it’s rock hard toffee!


Into the garbage that went….


Attempt #2 – no better


Attempt #3 – worse


I am not sure what happened.  Maybe because I cut the recipe?  Did anyone else half or third the recipe and have success?

I still have the lovely dough in the fridge, I may give it another try in a day or so or try something new with it.

It is frustrating when a recipe does not go as it is supposed to, but oh well!  It is a challenge and I was pushed out of my comfort zone.

Thank you Korena, from Korena in the Kitchen , for the challenge.  I really want to try this, yours looked delicious!  Any suggestions?



3 thoughts on “Daring Bakers Do Tarte Tatin

  1. I alos try to reduce the sweets I eat, so I make olny a cake in the week-end and nothing in between …. Still I made 2 Variations of Tart Tatin, and I also had a problem with the caramel, my firt attempt went to the garbage tin. On the daring bakers forum I found out that beet sugar doesn’t work well for this type of caramel, so I went for another method. Good luck with the next attempt! 🙂

  2. OH NO! Erica, I wish you had posted about your attempts on the forum because I have a feeling they would have turned out in the end. All those stages of weird foaming/dryness with the sugar are normal (especially since you got a beautiful caramel the first time), and the hardened caramel would have eventually liquified with the juices from the apples. I’m so sorry you threw it all out! I hope you’ll give it a try again sometime 🙂

    1. Oh, your kidding! It seemed un salvageable at that point, hmmm. I will definitely try it again. Thanks for the Challenge!

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