In Traveling Feasts in a Gourmet’s Pocket, Hazal Muhtar shares unique and easy-to-make recipes from International cuisines.

According to popular history, two French sisters, Carolina (1847-1911) and Stephine Tatin (1838-1917), created the Tarte Tatin, a french apple tart. The sisters lived in Lamotte-Beuvron, a small rural town in the Loire Valley of France, owned and ran the hotel called l’Hotel Tatin in 1888. The elder sister, Stéphanie, ran the kitchen. A particularly fine cook, she wasn’t one for common sense. Her specialty was an apple tart, served perfectly crumbly and caramelized that melted in your mouth.

One day during the hunting season, during the midday scramble, Stephanie placed her tart in the oven the wrong way round. The pastry and apples were upside-down but, nevertheless, she served this strange dessert without giving it time to cool. The French call this dessert tarte des demoiselles Tatin (the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin).

Here’s a simplified Tarte Tatin recipe to serve during the upcoming holidays if you’re looking to change up the classic recipe with an international twist!


Pre-Cooking 2


For the Dough:

  1. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 pinch salt
  3. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. 3 tablespoons cold water, or as needed


For the Inside (Frangipane):

  1. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. 2/3 cup ground almonds
  6. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  7. 4 medium sweet apples – peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
  8. 1 teaspoon white sugar for decoration
  9. 1/3 tablespoon of peanut butter

After cooking


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of flour and salt. Add the butter, 1 egg yolk and water, and stir until the mixture forms large crumbs. If it is too dry to press a handful together, stir in more water. Press the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. This part can be done up to three days in advance.
  2. To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl until light and soft.
  3. Gradually mix in the egg and the remaining egg yolk one at a time. Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into the ground almonds, then mix into the batter. Add the peanut butter. Set aside.
  4. Roll the pastry dough out to about a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fold loosely into quarters, and center the point in a 10 inch tart or pie pan.
  5. Unfold dough, and press into the bottom and up the sides. Prick with a fork all over, and flute the edges. Return pastry to the refrigerator to chill until firm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place a baking sheet inside the oven while it preheats.
  7. Spoon the frangipane into the chilled pastry, and spread into an even layer.
  8. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping spiral pattern. Each slice should have one edge pressed into the frangipane until it touches the pastry base, and then overlap the previous slice. Start at the outside edge, and work towards the center.
  9. Place the pie plate on top of the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling begins to brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for another 10 minutes, then sprinkle sugar over the top of the tart. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes slightly.
  10. Cool the tart on a wire rack.


Bon Appetite!