- 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing the dish
- 19 apple slices (good baking apples are Braeburn, Jonathan, McIntosh, Rome and Granny Smith)
- 2 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Zest from one large lemon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/8 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
I admit it. I love the color and smell of a thickened amber-colored syrup made from sugar and water. It just makes me happy.
It was that burnt smell that accidentally inspired Catherine Tatin to create what is now the famous tart tatin enjoyed by many over the years. Catherine and her sister Stephanie ran the French hotel, Lamotte-Beuvron, in the 1880′s. Catherine started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar too long. In an effort to save her dessert for her hotel guests, she immediately took the pan off the heat, threw a pastry base on top and placed it in the oven to continue cooking. When inverted, Catherine was very pleased with her creation. After hearing the rave reviews from her guests, this dessert the “Tatin” named after Catherine became a signature dessert of the hotel.
This afternoon I made this apple cranberry tatin or upside down cake. Your family and friends will never know that this attractive dessert is super quick and easy! Chances are you have all of the ingredients for this dessert right now.
I then began layering my apples and cranberries on the bottom of the pan.
On the stove went my granulated sugar and water. Over high heat I watched my clear mixture turn a lovely amber color. I love that smell.
I immediately removed it from the stove and poured it over my apples and cranberries.
I set the apples aside and made my cake batter. Then poured it over the apples, cranberries and amber syrup.
In the oven it went. About thirty minutes later a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. I removed my tatin from the oven adn allowed it to cool for fifteen minutes. I then inverted it onto a plate. One of the apple slices and a couple of the dried cranberries stuck to the bottom of the pie pan, but it was not a problem. I simply placed them back on top of the cake.
I adorned this tatin with a dollop of my almond-flavored whipped cream. That is so simple to make. Simply pour one cup of heavy whipping cream in a large bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat a couple of minutes until whipped cream is formed. I love using my Smart Stick Cordless Rechargeable hand blender from Cuisinart for this task!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples slices, cut side down, and cranberries in the dish.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a beautiful warm amber color. Pour your sugar mixture evenly over the apple slices and cranberries.
Next, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup ofgranulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and cranberries and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool your dessert 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, don’t worry, simply ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or my almond-flavored whipping cream.
To make my whipping cream simply pour one cup of heavy cream int a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract. Whip up and enjoy!