I do not know anybody who does not love a Tarte Tatin . There is nothing better specially on a cool day ! Makes the house smell so wonderful .
For 100% success what you’ll really need is an 8″ cast iron pan . If you do not have any , you will still need a pan that can go from the stove top to the oven .
4-6 medium size Apples ~ 100 grs ( just a little less than a stick of butter ) ~ 100gr (1/2 cup ) of granulated sugar ~ 1 vanilla bean , 2 sticks of cinnamon ~ 1 pie crust ( i use Trader Joes frozen ones)
Set the oven at 375F
Spread the butter with your hands in an even layer at the bottom of the pan . Sprinkle with the sugar . Scrape the beans of vanilla evenly and put on the 2 cinnamon sticks . Peel , core and cut the apples in quarters . I use Fuji apples , they give out enough juice but not too much , get soft but do not compote when cooking , These are the most important criteria for choosing them . You do not want an apple that stay very crunchy either .
Arrange the apples round side down over the butter . Make sure they are tight .
Start the cooking on the stove ( high -medium high ) Do not touch the apples , let the butter /sugar melt and bubble . You want to stay close to make sure you do not burn your caramel as it goes fast toward the end ( you can lower the setting a bit to make sure you do not over cook the caramel since it will still cook a bit after you take it off the flame ) . I rotate the pan to make sure the coloring is even , you want to avoid one side to caramelize faster than the other . This process should take about 12-15mns . When the caramel has the perfect color not too light or dark ( taste bitter ) take off the stove and let rest a few minutes before to cover with the crust .
Once you put the crust over the hot apples , you have to act fast . Using a spatula , tuck the sides of the crust into the pan and poke some holes so the steam can come out .
Bake for 18-20 mns . When the crust is golden brown , it is ready !
Carefully turn over into a plate when still hot . I like to use the juices left at the bottom of the pan . Pour some Calvados , Grand Marnier or Rhum in the pan , warm up and flambe. (Do not put the hood on or the flames will be sucked up) Pour immediately over the tart . Serve warm with creme fraiche , vanilla ice cream or whipped cream .