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Apple Pie -- a French Perspective

Tuesday, 08 December 2020 17:17
Granny Smith Apples Preparing for their Tarte Tatin Destiny Granny Smith Apples Preparing for their Tarte Tatin Destiny

By Dan Clarke

Tarte Tatin? Sorbet? What’re they talking about?

Your editor began looking for a classic apple pie recipe that we could share with you at this holiday season. He got sidetracked along the way.

Tarte Tatin is also a classic pastry preparation involving apples.  It’s sort of a French version of the All-American Apple Pie, though less sweet and involving less pastry crust.  It’s flatter, too.

We found the following recipe at the website of the Washington Apple Commission. The preparation is credited to the late Chicago Chef, Charlie Trotter, so we’ll consider it as a gallic idea, using State of Washington produce and interpreted with a Midwestern style.

Bon Apppetit!


Tarte Tatin with Apple Sorbet


By Chef Charlie Trotter

 apple tart tatin ice cream 300x200 Picmonkey

Apple Sorbet

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1 cup apple juice

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch ground ginger


Tarte Tatin

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon Calvados or brandy

1 8-inch square piece puff pastry



1. Prepare Apple Sorbet: Combine apples, lemon juice, and water in saucepot. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until apples are soft. Puree in blender or food processor, then pass through a fine sieve.

2. In same saucepot, combine apple juice, sugar, and ginger. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in apple puree. Chill one hour. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Or pour mixture into shallow dish and freeze one hour, then transfer to deep bowl and beat with electric mixer; refreeze until firm.

3. Prepare Tart Tatin: Cut each apple quarter into 4 slices. In skillet, melt butter and stir in brown sugar until blended. Add apple slices and Calvados; cook 10 minutes or until apples are barely tender.

4. Meanwhile, prepare pastry by cutting four 4-inch circles from the 8-inch square. Prick centers of rounds with fork several times and place on lightly greased baking sheet.

5. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove apple slices from skillet with slotted spoon; reduce syrup to 1/4 cup. Arrange eight apple slices on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border of pastry. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. To serve, brush tarts with reduced syrup and garnish with apple sorbet.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 December 2020 17:41

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