Friday, July 16

feature: la fête nationale - apple tarte tatin cupcakes

Apple tarte tatin is such a classic, simple, but oh-so-delicious dessert. My first homemade experience was a Donna Hay recipe for individual strawberry and vanilla bean tarts, and despite requiring a criminally small amount of effort, was so unbelievably delicious that I simply can't ignore this French treat in my Bastille feature. So, mine is not quite a tart. I did consider incorporating puff pastry somehow... but I think all this baking is somehow affecting my creative ability. That or I just really wanted to go to bed last night. I think some kind of pastry decoration would really finish it off nicely, though. It needs a bit of crunch.

Ingredients (makes 12)

For cakes:
(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
110 gms unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
90 mls buttermilk

For caramelised apples and caramel sauce:
80g butter
4 red apples, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
160 mls thickened cream

Preheat oven to 180C. Place 12 cupcake liners in a 12 capacity cupcake tin.

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk and ending with dry. Scrape the sides of the bowl throughout to ensure mixture is evenly beaten.

Divide mixture evenly among cases. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Remove from tin immediately and cool on a wire rack.

For caramelised apples, place butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted begins to foam. Add apples slices to pan in a single layer to ensure even caramelisation. You may have to do multiple batches if necessary, so divide ingredients as required. Cook for about two minutes on each side until lightly browned. Add brown sugar and cream to pan and stir to coat apples. Cook until mixture thickens, then remove from heat.

Arrange apple slices on each cupcake, and spoon over warm caramel sauce.

The brown sugar pound cake doesn't have a fine crumb like most cupcake recipes, but I think its thickness really works in this case. You could substitute it for any caramel/apple cake recipe if you'd prefer a more moist cake, but I back Martha on this one.

I suggest eating them warm with a dollop of cream, as you would a classic tarte tatin.

Recommended baking soundtrack: Mélanie Pain - My Name


  1. Oh gosh, they look sooo good. Those glossy, sticky apples look so perfect!

  2. Just made these Amber...great recipe and perfect for an overcast Sunday afternoon :-)