Tarte Tatin au canard et pommes

IMG_9295 (400x352)One of the pleasures of my shop is sharing recipes with my clients. The other day Signe Rousseau popped in and told me about a savoury duck and apple “Tarte Tatin” recipe she had found in the New York Times. Created by Noemie and Christine of www.pistacheny.com a French style patisserie in Brooklyn. This immediately piqued my interest as this is a savoury recipe. Traditionally a Tarte Tatin is an upside-down pastry made with caramelised apples. The concept of this upside-down pastry and apple dish, a Tarte Solognotte, seems to originate from the Sologne region, 100 miles south of Paris. It was served by the two elderely Tatin sisters at their Hotel Tatin. The owner of Maxims restaurant in Paris was so taken by it, that he added it to his menu and called it the “Tarte Tatin” in their honour. I took the Pistache NY recipe and adapted it a little by adding some Calvados. I served the Tarte at lunch on Sunday and loved the combination of the apple and duck, it tasted absolutely divine and is now one of my favourite recipes. I feel that a “Hugel Riesling” from Alsace is the best wine to pair with the apple/duck tastes

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 1 packet ready made puff or shortcrust pastry ( I used puff but shortcrust can also be used)
  • 3 Duck breasts or tin of Confit de canard from the French Market shop
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons duck fat
  • 5 large or 8 small firm apples – Golden delicious/ Granny smith
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 Bottle of Hugel Riesling from Alsace from the French Market shop


  1. Preheat oven to 200degrees C
  2. If using fresh duck breasts, score the fat of the duck breasts.
  3. Fry in a deep, round skillet on both sides until well browned.
  4. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool a bit then slice the breasts thinly
  5. If using the duck confit, remove from tin and scrape off the skin and fat.
  6. Cut the meat away from the bones and chop up.
  7. Peel, core, quarter the apples.
  8. Slice in thin strips.
  9. Melt duck fat, any spare skin and butter in the skillet
  10. Fry the apples in batches, 2 at a time for about 5 minutes until slightly soft and golden and on both sides. Place the fried apples on a dish.
  11. Cut the pastry to fit across the top of the skillett with a bit extra over the side, place in fridge until needed.
  12. Once all the apples have been fried, drain off the excess fat.
  13. Add the vinegar and honey to the pan and stir into any residual fat.
  14. Over a low heat, layer the apples across the entire base of the skillet in concentric circles, the base needs to be covered.
  15. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper over the apples.
  16. Important note – Turn the overhead extractor fan off if it is running.
  17. Pour a large tablespoon of Calvados over the apples and light it straight away. Make sure you stand back .
  18. Once the flames have died down remove pan from the heat
  19. Arrange the slices of duck breast, or the chopped duck confit, over the apples
  20. Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper over the duck
  21. Take the pastry circle and place flat over the duck, press down with fingers all around the edge of the skillett to try and seal in the flavour.
  22. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
  23. Put into the upper- middle part of the oven straight away.
  24. Cook for about 10 minutes then lower heat to 180 C degrees for 20 minutes until cooked through and the pastry is golden.
  25. Remove from oven
  26. Use a knife to carefully separate pastry from edge of skillett
  27. Place a large plate across the whole of the top of the skillett. Use kitchen gloves to protect your hands.
  28. Carefully and quickly turn the skillet and plate upside down so that the pastry is now sitting on the plate and the apple is uppermost.
  29. Use a knife to carefully remove any apple slices stuck to the skillett and place them on top of the tarte.
  30. Serve straight away while hot

I recommend serving this savoury tarte with a glass of Hugel Riesling from Alsace

For more recipes and info see http://www.pistachenyc.com

Bon Appétit!

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