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Crispy, Caramelly Shallot And Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

tart on white plate
tart on white plate - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Tarte tatin is a classic, only seemingly fancy French dessert that is typically made of apples — like an apple pie without the top crust. Like most tarts, tarte tatin is actually easier for casual home bakers to make than two-crust pies, and recipe developer Kara Barrett's tarte tatin is especially foolproof because she uses ready-made puff pastry instead of whipping up the tarte shell from scratch. What really makes this recipe stand out, however, is the addition of shallots to the not-too-sweet apple filling.

Barrett says this unique, aromatic tarte "straddles the line between savory and sweet." Not only do the shallots take the tarte out of what we think of as typical dessert territory, but Barrett also flavors the pie with Brazil nuts and chopped sage cooked in brown butter, which "adds an earthy flavor that works well with both apples and shallots." All that — and it looks beautiful on a pie plate while taking just over an hour to put together.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

Collect The Ingredients To Make Crispy, Caramelly Shallot And Apple Tarte Tatin

ingredients for shallot-apple tart
ingredients for shallot-apple tart - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

The filling of this simple tarte is made from apples and shallots along with butter, fresh sage, salt, and brown sugar. Grab your favorite brand of store-bought puff pastry to form the crust, as well as Brazil nuts to garnish the finished tarte.

Step 1: Turn On The Broiler

oven temperature gauge set to broil
oven temperature gauge set to broil - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Set the oven to broil.

Step 2: Prep The Shallots

cut and peeled shallots on cutting board
cut and peeled shallots on cutting board - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Cut shallots in half lengthwise, remove the tail ends, and peel off the skin.

Step 3: Arrange The Shallots On A Sheet Pan

shallots on parchment lined baking sheet
shallots on parchment lined baking sheet - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Place shallots cut side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 4: Char The Shallots

broiled caramelized shallots on parchment lined baking sheet
broiled caramelized shallots on parchment lined baking sheet - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Broil for 15 minutes, until charred and caramelized.

Step 5: Melt Some Butter In A Pan

butter in frying pan
butter in frying pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

Step 6: Brown The Butter And Cook The Sage

melted butter with sage leaves
melted butter with sage leaves - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add sage and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the leaves are crisp and the butter has browned. Set aside.

Step 7: Take The Shallots Out Of The Oven, And Reduce The Heat

oven temperature set to 400
oven temperature set to 400 - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

When shallots are done, remove them from the oven and reset the temperature to bake at 400 F.

Step 8: Butter A Pie Pan

pat of butter in glass pie dish
pat of butter in glass pie dish - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Use remaining butter to generously grease a 9 ½-inch pie pan.

Step 9: Sprinkle The Surface With Brown Sugar

brown sugar in buttered pie pan
brown sugar in buttered pie pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Sprinkle about half of the brown sugar all over the bottom of the pie pan, reserving the rest for later.

Step 10: Add Some Of The Crispy Sage

pie pan with butter, brown sugar, and sage
pie pan with butter, brown sugar, and sage - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Distribute about half of the buttery sage leaves all over the bottom of the pie pan, reserving the rest for later.

Step 11: Arrange The Shallots In The Pie Pan

cooked shallots in pie pan
cooked shallots in pie pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Place shallots cut side-down into the pie pan, covering the bottom but leaving enough room to tuck in the apple slices.

Step 12: Add The Apple Slices

hand adding apples to shallots in pie pan
hand adding apples to shallots in pie pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Tuck the apple slices between the shallots. (The fit will be snug, and you may not use the full cup of apples.)

Step 13: Sprinkle On More Sage, Salt, And Sugar

apples and shallots in pan
apples and shallots in pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Sprinkle the shallots and apples evenly with the remaining buttery sage leaves, ¼ teaspoon salt, and all but approximately 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Step 14: Roll Out The Puff Pastry

hand rolling out pastry on countertop
hand rolling out pastry on countertop - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Roll out the puff pastry so it will be large enough to cover the pie pan.

Step 15: Cover The Filling With Puff Pastry

pie dough in pie pan
pie dough in pie pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Drape the pastry over the pie pan, cutting off any excess and then tightly tucking it in around the edges of the filling.

Step 16: Sprinkle On The Rest Of The Brown Sugar

hand sprinkling sugar on unbaked pie
hand sprinkling sugar on unbaked pie - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the pastry.

Step 17: Cut Slits In The Crust, And Bake

hand making slits in unbaked pie with knife
hand making slits in unbaked pie with knife - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Use a knife to cut several slits to allow steam to release through the crust, then bake for 35-40 minutes. When done, the sugars should be caramelized and bubbling around the edges of the tarte.

Step 18: Invert The Tarte

inverted tarte tatin on countertop
inverted tarte tatin on countertop - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Remove the tarte from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, or until it stops steaming. Using oven mitts, quickly flip the tarte out onto a plate. (It's OK if it's not perfect; use your hands to rearrange any shallots or apples that have fallen out of the tarte.)

Step 19: Garnish, And Enjoy

caramelized shallot tarte with brazil nuts and sage
caramelized shallot tarte with brazil nuts and sage - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Allow to cool slightly, then garnish with toasted Brazil nuts and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt before serving.

Why Is This Crispy, Caramelly Shallot And Apple Tarte Tatin Baked Upside-Down?

savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate
savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

While most pies and tarts typically have the crust on the bottom and filling on top, this shallot and apple tarte tatin is actually built in reverse — kind of like a pie version of an upside-down cake. Barrett tells us this is traditional for the original French dessert, although she believes the story about tarte tatin's accidental origins to be a myth.

Whatever the truth may be, Barrett says constructing the tarte upside-down is "part of the fun of mastering the dish" — not to mention important for the flavor. By layering on the puff pastry last, Barrett is able to sprinkle the pie pan with sugar, which caramelizes in the oven and forms a sweet and crunchy crust over the tender shallots. This technique can be applied to any type of tarte tatin, be it sweet or savory.

When Should I Serve With This Crispy, Caramelly Shallot And Apple Tarte Tatin?

savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate
savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

One question you may have in mind as you read through the recipe might be, "Is this tarte a dessert or a side dish?" Barrett describes her recipe as "a lovely side," although she also says "it can also serve as its own meal." Since this vegetarian tarte is on the lighter side, you may want to serve it with something hearty — like a chef's salad — if you'd like to enjoy it as an entree. Of course, you could always serve it for breakfast or brunch, as Barrett also suggests, since it would complement both the sweet and savory dishes on the table.

If you want to try something really outside the box, you could always serve this shallot and apple tarte tatin as a dessert. Even though the filling only contains a small amount of sugar, Barrett says the "crunchy, caramelized sugar coating" definitely helps to sweeten things up. What's more, savory-leaning desserts are typical in France, where many meals finish with a cheese board — imagine how well this tarte would go with a selection of cheeses and nuts.

Crispy, Caramelly Shallot And Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate
savory shallot tarte tatin on white plate - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 50mYield: 8 servingsIngredients

  • 8 large shallots

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste, divided

  • ¼ cup brown sugar, divided

  • 1 cup peeled apple slices

  • 1 sheet puff pastry

  • 2 tablespoons chopped Brazil nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Set the oven to broil.

  2. Cut shallots in half lengthwise, remove the tail ends, and peel off the skin.

  3. Place shallots cut side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  4. Broil for 15 minutes, until charred and caramelized.

  5. Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

  6. Add sage and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the leaves are crisp and the butter has browned. Set aside.

  7. When shallots are done, remove them from the oven and reset the temperature to bake at 400 F.

  8. Use remaining butter to generously grease a 9 ½-inch pie pan.

  9. Sprinkle about half of the brown sugar all over the bottom of the pie pan, reserving the rest for later.

  10. Distribute about half of the buttery sage leaves all over the bottom of the pie pan, reserving the rest for later.

  11. Place shallots cut side-down into the pie pan, covering the bottom but leaving enough room to tuck in the apple slices.

  12. Tuck the apple slices between the shallots. (The fit will be snug, and you may not use the full cup of apples.)

  13. Sprinkle the shallots and apples evenly with the remaining buttery sage leaves, ¼ teaspoon salt, and all but approximately 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

  14. Roll out the puff pastry so it will be large enough to cover the pie pan.

  15. Drape the pastry over the pie pan, cutting off any excess and then tightly tucking it in around the edges of the filling.

  16. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the pastry and use a knife to cut several slits to allow steam to release through the crust.

  17. Bake for 35-40 minutes, then remove from the oven. The sugars should be caramelized and bubbling around the edges of the tarte.

  18. Let the tarte sit for 5 minutes, or until it stops steaming, then hold the pan with oven mitts and quickly flip the tarte out onto a plate. (It's OK if it's not perfect; use your hands to rearrange any shallots or apples that have fallen out of the tarte.)

  19. Allow to cool slightly, then garnish with toasted Brazil nuts and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt before serving.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.