French reversed apple pie (apple tarte tatin)

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This is not a simple apple pie. This is an incredibly delicious apple tarte tatin! This is THE recipe for which I shared the caramel syrup recipe previously. Bless my mother in law again for this fantastic dessert. Well, just make sure not to eat this too often as the pie is pretty rich with butter and sugar. Count about 550kcal/2300kj per serving. So this is not a friendly diet recipe. But it’s perfect for family lunch on a Sunday.

French reversed apple pie (apple tarte tatin)

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Ingredients (8 servings):

Pie dough:

  • 100g/3,5oz Maizena
  • 250g/8,8oz flour
  • 150g/5,3oz butter
  • 13cl water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 60g/2,1oz sugar
  • 2-3 drops of pure vanilla extract


  • 1kg/2,2lbs apples (boskoop or similar)
  • 60g/2,1oz butter
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 18cl caramel syrup

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  1. The pie dough. In a bowl (or a robot) mix the flour, Maïzena, baking powder and sugar. Add butter cut into small pieces at room temperature and water. Mix it well. Shape the dough in a bowl, cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  3. Make a caramel syrup. Pour about 18cl of caramel syrup in a the bottom of a pie mold (Ø26cm/10inches).
  4. Fill with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Sprinkle sugar and scatter the butter curls.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into round circle just a little bigger than the mold. Place over the apples and tuck in the sides between the mold and apples.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the mold when it’s still hot placing a round dish over the pie and turning the mold upside down. The crust is down and the caramelized apples on top.


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Easy caramel syrup

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The first time I tried to make caramel, it was just a disaster. I met a chef once who shared a recipe that required making a caramel. He told me to start by heating sugar in a pan without anything else: no water, no lemon juice, nothing. First step went fine and the caramel was just turning the right color. This is when I had to add the fruit juice. And I did. The caramel just went solid as a rock. I was lucky not being burned by the splashes. So I concluded this was not the right way. In fact I just didn’t pour enough liquid and was not patient enough to see the solid dissolve in the liquid. I learned afterwards that sugar start to caramelize only when water is missing so the chemical reaction makes the magic. So the more water you add, the longer you wait. Although, I find it easier to use some water at start. Since this first bad experience with caramel, I made it right all the time from salted butter caramel to syrup. I take this easy caramel syrup recipe from my mother in law. She gets so many treasures in her cookbooks… This one is great because it’s simple and you can keep it for two months stored in a dry place.

Easy caramel syrup recipe

Caramel syrup


  • 500g/17,6oz sugar
  • 12cl + 25cl/4fl.oz.+8fl.oz water
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar


In a pan, heat the sugar, 12cl of water and vinegar over low heat. The sugar dissolves, the syrup makes bubbles and then turns brown after approx. 30 minutes. The color is important because if its two dark, the caramel will taste bitter and if not brown enough it won’t be tasty. When the caramel hits the right color, pour by far 25cl of boiling water with caution. The syrup spits. Just wait for one more minute for the caramel to dissolve in the water. Remove from heat and let it cool before pouring it in a waterproof container.

Store in a dry place and keep it for two months. Use to flavor yogurt, milky rice, caramel cream or coat ice cream.

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