Recipe: Nadia Lim’s Apple Rum Raisin Tarte Tatin

Crisp apples are paired perfectly with this indulgent rum-and-raisin sauce. 

Recipe: Extract from Nadia: A Seasonal Journal  Photo: Rachael McKenna

The story goes that tarte tatin was ‘invented’ accidentally in a Parisian hotel. Stéphanie Tatin burnt the apples for a traditional apple pie so she put the pastry on top of them in the pan and served the tart inverted. This one, with rum and raisin sauce, is extra indulgent.

Makes: 6 serves
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes


6 apples (a variety that will hold its shape, e.g. Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Granny Smith)
½ cup sugar
2 knobs of butter
1 sheet puff pastry (keep cool in the fridge until ready to use)

Rum raisin sauce:
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup maple syrup or honey
¼ cup dark rum
⅓ cup raisins
knob of butter

whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, to serve


Heat oven to 200°C. Peel the apples then cut into quarters and slice off the core.  Tip the sugar into a medium-large heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan (such as a cast-iron pan, or a heavy-based stainless-steel one). Melt the sugar over a medium-high heat and leave to cook for about 5 minutes (do not stir) until it starts to turn a dark amber colour. When the syrup begins to smoke, turn off the heat and stir in one knob of butter.

Arrange the apples (peeled side down) around the pan on top of the syrup, in a tight circular pattern. Ensure the whole pan is well covered, leaving no gaps; the apples can overlap each other a bit. Melt the other knob of butter and brush the tops of the apples. Place pan in the hot oven to cook for 20-30 minutes, until apples are tender.

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Take the pan from the oven (carefully, so you don’t move the apples) and place the pastry sheet on top. Use a fork to gently but firmly push and tuck down the edges on the inside of the pan. Prick the top of the pastry a few times (to allow steam to escape during cooking). Place back into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes or until pastry is puffed, golden and crisp.

Allow the tart to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before running a knife around the edge and carefully inverting it onto a serving plate. To do this, place the
plate on top of the pan then, using tea towels or mitts (so you don’t burn yourself), flip over the plate and pan together in one swift motion — ta-da! Sometimes I knock on the underside of the pan to make sure every bit of apple is dislodged.

While the tart is cooling in the pan, make the rum raisin sauce. Combine brown sugar and maple syrup/honey in a pot. Set over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the rum, raisins and butter. Spoon warm sauce over the apple tart and serve with whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.

Nadia This article first appeared in Nadia: A Seasonal Journal Magazine.

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