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Monday, April 16, 2012

[Tarte Tatin - Upside Down Apple Pie] Single-Crust Apple Pie made with a cast iron pan

Cake and bread, or baked goods in general, are a "must' in my daily life.
Have you had a day without bread or any type of carbohydrate?

I have tried both Atkins and Dukan diets once each. Atkins for two weeks when I was 25.
I felt miserable. I was not hungry, but felt unsatisfied all the time.
If you stayed out of carb for a few days, you would know what I mean here.
I was not hoping for a big loss. I didn't want to be the biggest loser either. I just wanted to lose 5 pounds, or 7 pounds to look ambitious.
Guess how much I lost after two full weeks of depreviation of carbohydrate. I lost exactly 2 pounds. Can you imagine how much I was disappointed? I had to turn my back from morning toast, baguette, or pasta, you name it, for 14 days to lose only 2 pounds?
I had seen many people who were so successful in shedding two-digit pounds.
Then, look what happened to me. I was religiously following the rule and scheme, to let you know. Darn...
I learned that depreviation of carb would not work, at least for me, after such a painful two weeks.

And then, beginning of 2011,
there was a royal spin of French Dukan diet.
As it seems very effective, I forgot conveniently how my body was mute when I endured Atkins diets more than 10 years before.
I tried hard on Dukan diet.
I had hated 5 pounds stuck with me since the end of my second pregnancy.
Well, if you want to try Dukan diet,
I tell you now. Compared to the Dukan diet, Atkins diet is a piece of cake.
After 7 days on the diet, I did not lose a pound.
I truly admire people who are persistent with the diet.
The diet forbids everything totally reasonable and healthy, e.g. vegetables.

So, I swear that I gave up no carb diet for my life.
And I bake at least once a week as usual.

And I am not so proud to say, but I am a carb lover.
And I love baked desserts, of which my favorite is apple pie.
I prefer having two slices of a single-crusted pie to enjoying only one slice of a double-crusted pie.

As an apple-pie-holic, I baked a tarte Tatin for Easter dessert.
 This tarte Tatin is a rare and unique single-crusted apple pie.

There are a few different versions of history how the this world-famous tarte Tatin was created by accident.
However, my favorite version is the following:
According to legend, this dessert would be born in Lamotte-Beuvron in Sologne, France: sisters Stephanie (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911) ran a restaurant there, which still exists under the name of "hotel-restaurant Tatin ",  One Sunday evening, while preparing an apple pie for a meal of hunters, one of the sisters let apples burn, by accident. She decided to add the pie dough on top of the pan of apples,and put the tart in the oven. Hunters loved this pie, which became the tarte Tatin. (source:

Thanks to the Tatin sisters' mistake over 100 years ago, we can enjoy a fabulous single-crusted apple pie. :)
It's so easy to make, and ingredients are very simple.

Here goes the recipe:

1 single pie crust dough
(refer to the recipe
7-9 medium size apples
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
A pinch of cinnamon

How to make
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Peel and core the apples. Cut into 4-6 pieces.

3. Place butter in a 9" cast iron pan and melt in the preheated oven.

4. Pull the pan out of the oven, and pour sugar in the pan.

5. Caramelize the butter and sugar on low-medium heat.

You need to be careful not to burn the melted sugar +

butter mixture. Cook until the caramel is well colored.

6. Arrange the apples in the pan.

7. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until apples get tender.

8. Meanwhile, quickly roll the pastry into a circle a smidge bigger than the diameter of the pan.

9. Remove the pan from the heat and wait until the caramel stops bubbling, then place the pastry on top,

pushing down on the edges to cover the apples and crimp the edges inside the rim of the pan.

10. Using a paring knife, cut a + vent on top of dough.

11. Place the pan in the oven and bake about 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is nicely browned.

12. Leave the pie in the pan for about 10 minutes, until it's not too hot to deal with.
Run a knife along the rim of  the pie.

13. Now flipping time~ believe me. It's not difficult at all. Flip the frying pan over onto a large plate.

Slowly lift the frying pan off the tart. Usually all the apples drop onto the pastry, if not, you can place them and scrape any remaining caramel from the pan onto the tart.

Serve it warm or room temperature. Any temperature will be a right temperature.

We didn't have any vanilla ice cream left, but a slice of warm tarte tatin with a scoop of vanilla ice cream will bring you to a paradise. :)

Enjoy the sweetness.

Tarte Tatin


  1. In order for your apple pie to have inverted so nicely means your cast iron is well seasoned. Bravo Colleen!

    I have a very nice collection of cast irons, from very small to REALLY big. lol! My husband loves a good apple pie, so I should try making one for him in one of my cast irons. Truth: I've never made a pie in my cast irons. This will be my first time. :)

    Thank you for the recipe AND lovely pictures, Amiga!


  2. Good evening Virginia,
    lol you have a thorough understanding of the art of well-seasoned cast iron pans~:)

    Now I am so jealous. You have a full collection of cast iron pans!!! That is my dream. I have only two same size Lodge pans. I should buy a third one though. I want to give each of my kids a cast iron pan that doesn't need any more seasoning when they leave home(*tears*). So I need a third pan for myself to keep.

    I'm glad this recipe appeals to you Nini.
    Have a nice evening~

  3. I'm getting me a cast iron pan. There is no way I'm missing this recipe!!! Thanks Colleen :)