By Elena Johnson
Here’s my first installment of vegan recipes inspired by my trip to Paris, France – and by my weekend visit to an apple orchard! Tarte Tatin is a traditional French apple tart that is baked with the dough on top and then flipped over before serving (similar to the preparation of a pineapple upside down cake). I included an easy recipe for the tart dough, but you could also buy prepared pie dough if you prefer.
Vegan Apple Tarte Tatin
Makes a 10-inch tart
• 1 cup flour
• ⅛ tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. sugar
• 6 Tbsp. vegan margarine, like Earth Balance Buttery Spread
• ¼ cup cold water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 Tbsp. water
• 4 – 5 large apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, cored and each cut into 8 slices
• 1 ½ Tbsp. vegan margarine, like Earth Balance Buttery Spread
• ¼ cup water
• 1 Tbsp. sugar
First make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Drop the margarine into the food processor one tablespoon at a time. Turn on the food processor for about 5 seconds to blend. Add the cold water and process for another 10 seconds until the mixture starts to gather together. Dump the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to gather the crumbly dough together into a ball. Place a second large piece of plastic wrap over the top and roll the dough out into a circle, 11 inches in diameter. Place the dough round in plastic wrap in the refrigerator to rest.
For the filling, mix the sugar and water together in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to boil and caramelize, without stirring or tilting the pan. When the color reaches dark tan, remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to harden.
Arrange apple slices evenly in one layer in the skillet, skin side down. Once the bottom of the skillet is evenly covered, cut any remaining apple slices into smaller pieces and use to fill in the gaps between the larger pieces. Dot the apples with the 1 ½ Tbsp. margarine and pour in ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover and gently boil for 10 minutes, or until apples soften and release their juices. Remove cover and continue cooking over medium heat until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
Remove the dough round from the refrigerator and gently peel away the plastic wrap. Place dough on top of the apples in the skillet, folding the edges in to create a slightly thicker edge around the outside. Press the dough down gently so it lays flat across the apples. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar and bake at 400°F for 45 minutes until the dough is golden and there are no juices in the pan.
Remove skillet from oven and let cool. When ready to serve, place the skillet back over high heat for a minute to soften the caramel again. Remove from heat and place a large platter upside down on top of the skillet, then invert. Tap the bottom of the skillet a few times to help loosen the tart. Slowly lift the skillet, leaving the tart, dough side down, on the platter. If any apple pieces are stuck to the skillet, just pull them off gently and put them back on the tart. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
About the Author
Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing them with friends, relatives, and those interested in vegetarian cooking. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit TryVeg.com. Questions/feedback: email email@example.com. Follow Elena on Twitter: @ElenaEJohnson.