A New Recipe and a New Start: Apple Tarte Tatin and Australia!

Dreams can be funny. They can be huge, over-the-top notions of how life could be, or strange stories that melt away as you rub the sleep from your eyes. Sometimes you’ve been dreaming a dream for so long, you can hardly recall how it all began. It’s been with you for so long, it becomes a part of you.

Ever since I first spent a year working and playing in Australia, I’ve dreamed of returning. I’ve been lucky enough to go back a couple of times for holidays and special occasions (a birth, a wedding) and every time has been magical, yet shortlived.

Like the blurry details of my dream’s birth, the details of how I find myself here, possessions in storage and plane ticket purchased are just as vague. But I will not look this gift horse in the mouth. However I got here, all I can do is smile, be massively grateful, and remember to pack my favourite recipes.


I’m going to Australia and I’m taking my blog, and you, on the road!


This is an extremely exciting, scary time, which surprises me a bit, since this is by no means my first big trip. But just because you’ve done something before, doesn’t mean you can’t be afraid. Think public speaking. Or flying. Or trying a new recipe.

Did you like that segue? I felt that this big news deserved a celebration, and also called for taking a bit of a risk in the kitchen. I’ve never tried tarte tatin, and I didn’t really know much about it. It seemed like the perfect kitchen project to commemorate my big move.

Being new to this upside down apple pie, I figured I’d take my direction from the master of quick, yet delicious recipes–Jamie Oliver.

I could have gone straight to the source, Julia Child, but I feared the detailed steps would just be too much for me after two straight weekends of moving house and everything else that has been going on. I decided to keep things simple and my choice was well rewarded.

The first plus? Puff pastry. I have never made homemade pastry. Wait, I have. In Food Science class in University. But not since then. It scares me. I realize this is an unrealistic fear. But it freaks me out. Besides, Mum makes amazing pastry, so for now, we’ll leave that to her. But it will remain on my baking To Do list. One thing at a time…

So puff pastry rolled out and set aside, I prepared a simple caramel sauce with sugar, vanilla, and rum in a frying pan. Within 5 minutes it had turned a lovely golden colour, and in went the peeled, cored apples.

After another 5 minutes, the apples were delightfully soft and the hot caramel had further deepened in colour. It was time to add a bit of butter, then lay the pastry over the top and carefully tuck in the edges with a wooden spoon.

The final step was to place the (oven-proof) frying pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Cue warm, vanilla-apple and pastry aromas wafting through the house. Just when we couldn’t take it anymore, the timer beeped and out it came. It flipped easily out of the pan and onto the serving board. Served with vanilla ice cream it was a delicious apple dessert that was simple as pie, ha!

What’s your dream? What have you always wanted to try but haven’t quite plucked up the courage? Or maybe you need our help to make it happen. I’d love to hear about YOUR dreams. Write them down and make them real, below in the comments. In the meantime, enjoy some apple pie!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Tarte Tatin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 500g puff pastry
  • 5 small eating apples (approximately 800g), a mixture of sweet and acidic varieties
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100ml Calvados--I used rum
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out
  • 50g butter, cubed
  1. Preheat your oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas 5. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it’s just over 0.5cm thick. This will be enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you’ll be cooking the tarte Tatin in, leaving about 5cm extra around the edge. Put the pastry to one side for now. Peel your apples, then halve them horizontally and use a teaspoon to get rid of the seeds and core.
  2. Put the ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, Calvados, vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel. Just please remember never ever to touch or taste hot caramel, as it can burn really badly.
  3. Once the caramel looks and smells delicious – it should be a lovely chestnut brown – add your halved apples. Carefully stir everything in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples start to soften and you get a toffee apple vibe happening. Add the cubed butter, then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges – it’s best to use a wooden spoon so you don’t touch the caramel.
  4. Bake the tarte Tatin for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, with crispy caramelly pieces bubbling up from under the edges. Take it out of the oven. To make it look like a tarte Tatin you need to turn it out, which isn't hard – but you do need to be careful with that hot caramel. So get a serving plate or board larger than your pan and put an oven glove on to protect the arm holding the board. Put the board or plate on top of the pan, then quickly, carefully and confidently turn it out (remember you can go to www.jamieoliver.com/how-to and see a video of how to do this safely). Put it to one side for a few minutes, so the caramel can cool down, then divide it up and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or ice cream.

*This recipe would be totally doable on a weeknight or when guests were suddenly upon your door. The only thing holding you back? Store-bought puff pastry needs at least 2 hours of defrosting time on the counter or overnight in the fridge. But if you’ve got it on hand, and with a little preparation, you can enjoy this just about anytime.

Comments (16)

    I cannot WAIT to read about your adventures!
    And what a delicious looking tarte tartin by the way 😀

    CCU recently posted..Happy 1st Birthday Go Bake Yourself + International GiveawayMy Profile

    • Thanks! I’m really excited and look forward to being in the same time zone!

  • How exciting! Have a wonderful trip and I too will be waiting to hear all about your time in Australia!

    • Thanks Laila! Anything specific you’d like me to try food or travel-wise? Have you been to Australia?

  • Congratulations!!! Sad that I won’t see you at events but I’ve gained someone to see in Australia.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Food Friday: Farm to tableMy Profile

    • Thanks! I will miss you too, but yes, get your butt down there and you’ll have a place to stay.

  • […] sharing my big news about travelling to Australia last month, things have been so over-the-top busy I’ve barely had time to catch my […]

  • A little late to give my “Congrats!” but “Congrats!!” anyway! 🙂 I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Australia too. What an exciting time for you! How long will you be there?
    Rachael recently posted..Trip Report – LondonMy Profile

  • Have fun there!
    Awesome tarte. Yummy!
    Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) recently posted..ProfiterolesMy Profile

    • Thanks Ilan. Have you ever made it before? You must have with all the amazing things you bake.

  • Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing. I’ll try to make one, looks so delicious :))))
    Agness (@Agnesstramp) recently posted..Photo Gallery: Sri Lanka- the Teardrop of IndiaMy Profile

    • I would love to hear how it turns out and if you like it as much as I did. I love baked apples:)

  • Just catching up on this now. So glad you’re conquering your fears and starting a new page. I can’t wait to hear what new dreams come of this trip. As for my dreams, they keep evolving and coming true. 😉 One of them is to definitely visit a new continent. Whether it’s Africa, Asia or South America, that’s to be determined! Or maybe I’ll come visit you in Australia? 🙂
    Natalie T. recently posted..20 Tastiest Things I’ve Eaten in Toronto a.k.a. “The Tasty 20″ (Q3)My Profile

    • Thanks Nat. You’ve always been great about supporting me. And I am so thrilled for you too, that you set out to do what you want and achieve it! Very inspiring. Looking forward to hearing where you end up next, and would love it if it was here, but all places on your list sound so exciting!

  • Hi Melanie! I’m trying to get caught up with your blog today (though it will take me the weekend probably)… I am so excited for you and am looking forward to seeing all that you’ve seen and tasted so far.

    The tarts looks amazing!
    Allison @ Main St. Cuisine recently posted..Tips for Throwing a Baseball-Themed Birthday PartyMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Allison for taking the time! I’m so glad you’re back too, as so many of your recipes have become regulars in my rotation (that cilantro rice, omg). Have you been to Australia or New Zealand before?


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