Just in case you didn’t hear, Nuts in the Kitchen was voted Best Single Subject book in the U.S. and Second Best Single Subject cookbook in the world by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris on March 3.

Other good news is that On Rue Tatin was featured in a gorgeous article in the March issue of Traditional Home magazine.

And now, on to further delicious notes….

I love tarte tatin, and I’ve made  a reputation for myself among friends and  collaborators for the quality of mine.  To make it, I simply follow a recipe I’ve honed over the past many years, I choose great apples, and I take my time. When I teach people how to make my tarte tatin, I insist they do the same. The result is always spectacular.

But there are times when I don’t really feel like making tarte tatin, even though I might have a friend clamoring for me to do so. This was the case last weekend when  Adrian Leeds ( came to visit. She was on a mission, and part of it was to eat a piece of my tarte tatin.

When she arrived late Saturday, I’d been at work since very early that morning, and had a full schedule the following day as well.  I won’t say I wasn’t in the mood to make Tarte Tatin; I simply didn’t have the time to give to this particular enterprise.  So, I came up with a more-than viable alternative which I now refer to as Cake Tatin.  Buttery, caramel-y, appley, it is a simple, quick wonder.  In fact, I made it while Adrian and I were talking in the kitchen, and when the air began to smell of butter and caramel her eyes opened wide. “What is that smell?” she asked. I told her.  “When did you make it? I didn’t see a thing.”

Cake Tatin, post sampling

I’m giving you the recipe here, along with the post-sample photograph.  I urge you to make it while apples are still delicious. Bon Appétit.

ASTUCE: You must be very careful when caramelizing the apples before adding the batter because you don’t want to burn yourself. I place the cake pan over medium heat and handle it with tongs, keeping my distance from the heat.
For the fruit:1/3 cup (65g) vanilla sugar1-3/4 pounds;875g tart apples such as Gravensteins, Cox Orange Pippins,Criterion, Melrose or Boscop, peeled, cut in eighths, (or 2 pounds;1 kg apricots, pits removed)
For the batter:½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (about 100g) all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powderPinch fine sea salt6 tablespoons (90g) salted butter 1/2 cup (100g) vanilla sugar3 large eggsThe seeds from 1 vanilla beanGeranium blossoms
1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2.  To prepare the apples, place the sugar in the bottom of a 8-inch (24cm), flame-proof  cake pan (you can use a non-stick pan here), and place it over medium heat to caramelize the sugar.  Using kitchen tongs, tilt and swirl the pan slightly to evenly caramelize the sugar, being very careful not to burn yourself, and when the sugar is a deep golden, remove from the heat and add the apples.
3.  To make the batter, sift together the dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper.  Place the butter and the sugar into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix them together until the mixture is pale yellow and light.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla seeds.  Finally, fold in the dry ingredients until they are thoroughly incorporated into the butter and eggs.  Pour the batter over the apples and bake the cake in the center of the oven until it is golden and puffed slightly and your finger leaves a slight indentation on the top of the cake when you press on it.  You may test it with a knife which, when inserted into the cake  should come out clean (it may come out slightly moist if it pierces a piece of fruit, but it shouldn’t have any un-cooked batter on it), for about 30 minutes.  If the cake isn’t baked, return it to the oven until it is baked through.
4.  Remove the cake from the oven and place a large platter atop the cake pan.  Working carefully so you don’t burn your hands, turn the cake pan over so the platter is on the bottom, and the cake falls out onto the platter with the fruit on top.  You may need to give the cake pan a sharp shake or two to release the cake from the pan.  If some of the fruit sticks to the pan, don’t be concerned – just remove it and place it atop the cake – no one will ever know the difference!  Let the cake cool to room temperature then serve, garnished with geranium blossoms.
Serves 10-12 people


Apple cakes and tarts aside, the news of Japan precludes almost everything, and it isn’t getting better. If you need a place to donate, please consider which makes certain that more than 88% of funds it receives goes directly to those who are in need.

7 Responses to “CAKE TATIN AND MORE”
  1. Harriet says:

    Congratulations on your award! Nuts in the Kitchen is such a wonderful book! xoHarriet

  2. Harriet says:

    I made this cake yesterday for guests and it’s all I can do not to eat the rest of it myself. Cake Tatin is now my go-to dessert. Harriet.

  3. Adele HARS says:

    Congrats on the award, Susan. And will definitely save that recipe for when apple season roles around again here in Normandy.

  4. Jenny in Kentucky says:

    Hi Susan, Congratulations on your book award! I’m sure i’m late in saying so. So happy for you!! Well deserved!! 🙂 I’m most definitely going to make this delicious sounding cake, thank you so much for sharing the recipe….I’m seriously salivating over the thought as I type this.

    Love and sweet thoughts to you,

    XO Jenny

  5. Hi Susan, so pleased to meet you through David Lebovitz. I love your writing style and will come back often.

  6. Hi Susan,

    I have your wonderful Farmhouse Cookbook, and am so pleased to find you here! Hope you’ll post more often, love your work.

    Laura Haggarty

  7. Schlurp! This looks fantastic. I adore Tarte Tatin, and now this will join her on the list:) Thank you!

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