Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie {Tarte Tatin}

Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie {Tarte Tatin}

Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie

Holiday Spiced Sweet Potatoes are our seasonal favorite side dish, where thinly sliced sweet potatoes are baked with rich cream, brown sugar, warm spices, salt and pepper.

Apple Tarte Tatin, the world famous upside-down apple tart with buttery caramel-y flavors, is super easy to make and results in one impressive dessert time and again.

Here, the recipes are blended together – where the French tart’s apples are replaced with sweet potatoes and seasoned with pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, clove, cardamom) for a unique pie that will definitely make it onto my Thanksgiving menu this year. Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie makes a fabulous dessert, but could be equally successful served as a sweet-savory vegetable side dish, perhaps along side a Standing Rib Roast or Holiday Turkey.

Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

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Classic Apple Tarte Tatin with Cognac and Crème Fraîche

Classic Apple Tarte Tatin with Cognac and Crème Fraîche

Classic Apple Tarte Tatin with Cognac and Crème Fraîche

Here we have the irresistible color and flavors of Autumn on a plate. Top slices of just-from-the-oven apple tarte tatin with a dollop of crème fraîche – its slightly sour, nutty flavor and velvety texture make it the perfect accompaniment. Serve alongside a warmed snifter of Cognac and it would be difficult to find a better dessert to entertain as the weather cools and the leaves turn…

Classic Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

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The Culinary Legend of Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin
The Culinary Legend of Apple Tarte Tatin

Stéphanie Tatin’s inadvertent “mistake” in cooking an apple pie up-side-down has become a part of culinary history.

Back in the late 1800’s in France’s Loire Valley, two sisters took over the duties of running L’Hotel Tatin after the death of their father. Caroline managed the business side of the hotel and her older sister Stéphanie ran the kitchens. While she was an accomplished cook, Stéphanie also had a reputation for being a bit scatterbrained.

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Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin

butternut & acorn squash tarte tatin, bacon, goat cheese, hazelnut, sage
Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin

Butternut and Acorn Squash
Bacon, Maple, Hazelnut, Goat Cheese, Sage

I have a feeling I’m going to get more requests to make the Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin this season. With its nutty, tangy, and sucré flavors, the smoky aromas, rich earthy colors, and crispy, creamy, flaky textures ~ the famous inverted French pie originally made with apples back in the late 1800’s ~ is heart and soul of the inspiration for this recipe.

Butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup are intensified and caramelized at the bottom of the cast iron pan while the pastry on top remains dry, light and crisp. Stephanie Tatin’s inadvertent “mistake” in cooking an apple pie up-side-down has become a part of culinary history and its method copied in various forms over the years. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory ~ here I present a delightful Autumn tarte that is both…

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Persimmon Tarte Tatin, Crème Fraîche

persimmon tarte tatin

Fuyu Persimmon Tarte Tatin

Persimmon is a most understood fruit. Those who “hate” persimmon probably do so as a result of a confusion between fuyu and hachiya varieties.

If you attempted to eat an unripe hachiya, that is certainly the cause of your disgust. An unripe hiachya is super-tannic and can taste like chalk or bark. Or worse. Its astringency makes it totally unpalatable. A fully ripe hachiya, however, has the consistency of jelly and is sweet and rich. And a ripe fuyu has a firm texture and tastes like a honey-flavored apple. Now, who “hates” that?

Persimmon has the pizzazzy color and flavor of autumn and makes a great fruit for a tarte tatin. Be sure to use fuyu persimmons and save the RIPE hachiya for something else.

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Tomato Tarte Tatin

Brunch Menu
Tomato Goat Cheese Basil Tarte Tatin
Red Leaf Green Leaf Salad, Dijon Vinaigrette
Comté Cheese Soufflés
Handcut Bacon
Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc

Oh, we had such a delightful brunch! I hope I am able convey the light lovely delicious flavor combinations served here. The menu is straight-forward and uncomplicated, but this brunch menu is a winner by all accounts!

Father Adam is my longtime dear dear friend. He was going to be in town at the same time as my family visiting from Chicago. We determined he had not seen my brother in over 20 years (and therefore had not met my sister-in-law, nor their sons). Father Adam and I cook together often. He is a terrific cook. You may recall reading about some of our dishes, including the one we made for Julia Child’s birthday event, Coq Au Vin.

We thought it would be neat to cook brunch and for everyone to get (re) acquinted. Father Adam arrived around 9 AM and we began prepping the meal. We took a break to shoot some hoops with Stone, and a few hours later the adults were ready to sit down to a very memorable meal with the light streaming in, with the food, family, and friends, what could be better?

We served dry, crisp, complex Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc California Sparkling Wine, a great complement to the meal and how apropos to serve a “local” wine to out-of-town guests here in California.

Tomato Tarte Tatin: Slice Roma tomatoes lengthwise. Squeeze the seeds and juice out of tomatoes and place in baking pan drizzled with olive oil, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. Cook at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Pour out any juices left in the pan.

Top the tomatoes with crumbled goat cheese then cover with puff pastry dough. This is my cherished Le Creuset Tarte Tatin Pan. Handcrafted of porcelain enamel cast iron, it is designed for recipes that are started on top of the stove and are finished in the oven. The curved side handles make it easy to flip foods over onto a plate. This is a great pan for making quiche too, if you are a quiche lover, you might enjoy visiting here and here.

Tuck the dough under the edges of the tomatoes. Make holes in the dough to let steam escape and bake in the 350°F oven until the dough is golden. Remove from oven and let rest until ready to serve. Then…

Father Adam demonstrates the Tarte Tatin Flip Over.
Place platter over the pan.


Slowly remove pan.

Top with shredded basil. Serve.
Recipe inspired by the charming Chocolate & Zucchini Cookbook. Please stay tuned for the Soufflés post from this special brunch.