Quick Pineapple Tarte Tatin
Few desserts are more satisfying or simple than pineapple tarte tatin. Caramelised sugar, seasonal fruit, and crunchy puff pastry make for a quick treat. For even more decadence, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Every once in a while, you just need a sweet treat. As this pandemic rages on unabatedly, I find comfort in dessert. There’s something about a sweet ending that brings back an almost childish sense of security — as if everything is right with the world once again.
Of course, dessert is no answer to the ravages of a global pandemic. However, if it makes us feel better, that — in and of itself — is a form of medicine.
If, like so many of us, you’re feeling busier than ever — between virtual work, school, and having everyone at home all day long — you may be wondering where you’ll find the time for an extra course at dinner. That’s what I like about tarte tatin. It is, literally, the easiest dessert in the world.
You can make it with just about any fruit (or vegetable). Moreover, the process is simple. Caramelise a bit of sugar. Season the caramel to taste. Arrange the fruit (or veggies) in a pretty pattern and top with puff pastry. Pop it in the oven and — 30 minutes later — dessert is served!
How to Choose a Great Pineapple
To make the best pineapple tarte tatin, you must use the ripest, tastiest pineapple you can find. You may be wondering how to identify great fruit under a pineapple’s tough exterior. But, it’s easier than you think. Simply check for the following signs:
A sweet, ripe pineapple will smell good — particularly near the base. If the pineapple is aromatic, there’s a good chance it’s ripe and ready to eat.
You should be able to easily pick a leaf or two from the top of a ripe pineapple. If none of the leaves give, the fruit is probably not ready.
Though a pineapple’s skin is tough, it shouldn’t be hard as a rock. A ripe pineapple’s skin will have a bit of give.
While not all ripe pineapples are yellow, colour is a good sign to watch for. Most pineapples are yellow when fully ripe. If all the other signs (fragrance, easily removed leaves, and skin tenderness) are good, a green pineapple may be just fine.
The juicier the pineapple, the more weighty it will feel in your hand for its size.
Can I Make it Vegan?
Absolutely! Simply use vegan puff pastry and substitute an equal quantity of vegan butter for the dairy.
About this Recipe
Pineapple tarte tatin is very simple recipe. Nonetheless, there are a couple of tricks to getting it right.
Pick the Best Pineapple
Any recipe with simple ingredients requires excellent ingredients — because you’ll taste each and every one. Tarte tatin is one of those recipes that really just takes a wonderful ingredient and highlights it. So, choose the best pineapple available. I used little queen pineapples, though any variety will do.
Don’t Burn the Caramel
If you’re anything like me, you tend to multitask in the kitchen. Perhaps you have a few dishes on at once. Or, perhaps you cook while enjoying a cocktail with someone you love. Alternately, dinner time may coincide with homework time and you may find yourself helping your children as you cook.
Those are all great things to do while cooking. But, caramel requires focus. This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else. It just means you must stay near the stove and be aware of what is happening in your skillet.
So, set your sugar to caramelise over medium heat and watch it like a hawk. If it goes over — heaven forbid– you will know, because it will give off a bitter smelling smoke and go black or a very dark brown.
The bitter flavour of burnt caramel will ruin any tarte tatin — particularly one with a fruit as delicate as pineapple. So, don’t get tempted to cheat. Toss the burnt sugar. Clean out the pan, and start again.
The caramel will be the colour of honey when it is ready. The minute the sugar turns honey coloured, remove it from the heat and carry on with the recipe.
Keep the Pastry Cold
Cold puff pastry is easier to work with and will puff better in the oven. So, if you cut your pastry first, do refrigerate it until it’s time to bake.
Keep these three things in mind and you too will create a stunning pineapple tarte tatin your family will love. I hope your family enjoys this recipe every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!