Recipe: Tarte Tatin

In light of our recent focus on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and our subsequent interview with Vidal winemaker Hugh Crichton, who whetted the appetite by recalling his dream meal, CellarVie Wines thought they would reproduce one of his beautifully selected dishes, a Tarte Tatin, in an easily accessible but deliciously tasty recipe.

Starting with freshly shucked oysters and culminating in a seasonal Tarte Tatin, the 44-year-old reeled off a delectable menu that would make even the most reluctant of eaters salivate. In between, the New Zealand based producer suggested smoked fish cakes, served with watercress, a soft egg salad, cornichon and caper aioli or an equally indulgent grilled scotch fillet steak with potato dauphinoise.

With the above in mind, feast your eyes on this recipe for a lovely Tarte Tatin

History: There are conflicting stories behind the origins of Tarte Tatin, but the widely held account suggests this famous dish was the result of a mistake. First created at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, about 100 miles south of Paris, the aforementioned hotel was run by Stephanie and Caroline Tatin and it was the former who accidently stumbled upon this sensuous dessert in the 1880s. Overworked, Stephanie accidently overcooked a traditional apple pie in butter and sugar for too long. In a desperate attempt to salvage her pudding, she flipped the dish upside down with the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, and gently recooked it. The dish, still hot, was served to the Tatin sisters’ guests to great acclaim and a timeless classic was born.


500g puff pastry
8 large Cox's apples, peeled, halved, and cored (approximately 800g)
40g (1/4oz) unsalted butter, melted
100g golden caster sugar
100ml Calvados (optional)


Preheat your oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas 5.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it is roughly 0.5cm thick and prick it gently with a fork. Transfer to a baking tray and cover with cling film before chilling it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Peel the apples, halve them vertically and remove the core and pips.
To make the caramel, add the sugar to the slightly softened butter evenly over the base of an ovenproof pan and on a medium heat. Add the calvados for added flavour or for a slight kick if your mood requires!
Let the mixture slowly dissolve on a gentle heat and without stirring, so that a lovely golden brown syrup begins to form.
Once the caramel smells delicious, pour it into a round baking tin approximately 2in deep.
Arrange the apple halves upright around the edge of the tin to eventually complete a full circle.
When you get to the centre, you may have to cut the apples into quarters or thinner slices in order to fill in any space. Pack as many apple slices into the tin as possible so to leave as little space as possible. You can add an additional sprinkling of caster sugar over the top of the apples to add sweetness.
Place the tin in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the apples are gently cooked.
Remove from the oven and place the puff pastry circle over the top of the hot apples, tucking the edges of the pastry gently inside the tin. This needn’t be a particularly neat arrangement!
Cook for a further 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown but not burnt.
Remove the Tarte Tatin and place it somewhere cool but not in a fridge, like next to an open window. Let it stand for 90 minutes until it is slightly warm.
To remove the tart from its tin, slide a sharp blade around the edges to release it. Prior to removing, place a large dinner plate over the tart, and carefully holding the tin and plate together, gently flip it upside down so to release it slowly onto a plate.
Serve with a dollop of ice-cream or crème fraîche, or just enjoy it on its own.

For a real treat, why not serve the Tarte Tatin with a lovely dessert wine like a Chateau Solon 1998, Sauternes.

Bon Appétit!  


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