March 15th, 2009


Plum Tart Tatin with Mulled Plum Sorbet

Making tart tatin used to be my “party piece”. I love the wow factor which I still get  after all these years. It’s a warm fussy feeling and a sense of achievement that I get every time I make this dessert.

This mulled plum tart tatin is anything but the original apple recipe developed accidentally by one of the Tatin sisters. She baked a apple tart as normal but forgot that it was in the oven, consequently it burned. The rumor is that she did not want to throw it away and from then onwards we have Tart Tatin! I am so glad that she burnt the apple tart, as I love this glorious sweet, sticky fruit and pastry combination.

My method of making this delicious recipe is different from the traditional way. The dark brown sugar and the plums add to the intense, rich aromatic and rather seductive fragrance of this dish. There is nothing wrong with veering from the tradition, it’s exactly what cooking is all about and that is what makes this experience truly magical.

A few years ago I held a tart tatin workshop at work and all my colleagues thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Since I gave my secrets away, my party piece is no longer mine alone. I truly hope that someone else has now adopted it.


This method is quick and you can make all the components in advance, place the unbaked tart tatin in the fridge until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the pastry from the fridge, allow to come to room temperature.

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the clove until completely powdered.

Place the sugar and butter in to food processor with the ground clove. Blend until the butter starts to soften and the mixture becomes pale in colour and slightly whipped.

Divide the butter mixture between four individual metal tart moulds, each mould10cm wide x 2cm deep.

Use the back of a spoon to flatten and spread the butter.

Wash the plums, cut them in quarters and remove the stones. Arrange the plums in the moulds, use 5 quarters for each mould and set aside.

Roll the pastry 4mm thick out onto a lightly floured surface, cut the pastry 1cm larger than the actual mould. The reason is the pastry shrinks slightly. By cutting the pastry slightly larger it will form a cup shape around the fruits and keep them intact.

Place the pastry over the prepared fruits; use your fingers to tuck the pastry in between the mould and the fruits. It does not matter if you are slightly rough with them.

Let the tart tatin rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While the tart tatin rests, break the biscuit and place them in a small plastic food safe bag.

Use a rolling pin and bash the biscuits to fine crumbs, set aside.

Place the tart tatin on a metal baking tray in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While the tart tatin bakes make the Mulled Plum Sorbet.

When the tart tatin is cooked remove the tray from the oven and let the tart tatin cool for 5 minutes before you gently turn them out individually with the help of a small side plate. Do take extra care as the hot caramel can cause injury

Mulled Plum Sorbet
  • 500g plums
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 clove
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 free range egg white

Wash the plums, cut in quarters and remove the stones.

Place the plums in a freezer bag and freeze over night until solid. It is important that the plums are kept separate and must be hard.

If it’s a hot day 'prepare' a clean plastic container by placing it in the freezer to cool down.

Weigh the sugar, clove and cinnamon stick in to the Thermomix bowl.

Grind the sugar and spice for 30seconds on speed 10.

Scrape the sides of the jug with a spatula, if there is still large pieces of cinnamon visible replace the lid and repeat the process for the second time.

Add the frozen plums and lemon juice; it’s important that the plums must not be frozen in one solid lump as loose individual pieces wok the best.

Insert the thermomix spatula. Gradually turn the speed to 9 and mix the plums for 1 minute. Scrape the sides down and repeat this process until the plums are smooth.

Add the egg white. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 8.

Scrape the sides down and insert the butterfly whisk and whisk the sorbet on speed 4 for 30 seconds.

Serve immediately or if keeping -scoop the sorbet in to the cold plastic container and store in freezer.

To Serve:

Serve the warm tart tatin spoon a tablespoon of biscuit crumb in the middle to make a little nest for the sorbet to sit on. Dip a tablespoon in warm water and scoop the Mulled Plum Sorbet on to the biscuit crumb nest. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 individual tart tatins
Food Fanatics Tips

This recipe is far from the traditional recipes that we all know. Traditionally you use equal quantities of sugar and butter, spread that in the bottom of the tart tatin mould, arrange the fruits and pastry, then caramelise the tart tatin on the cooker before baking it in the oven.  I  found this recipe might be a cheats version but it is less time consuming and the different sugar gives the dish that extra layer of  flavour.

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2 Comments to “Plum Tart Tatin with Mulled Plum Sorbet”

  1. Madalene says:

    Dear Pat,

    Oh dear I have been busy and it’s taken a while to reply to your question. Please accept my apologies.
    An 8″ or 10 ” should be perfect, you need to increase the amount of butter sugar you need, and increase the amount of fruits as well.
    Cooking time for a large tart tatin will be 40 – 45 minutes.

    Happy Cooking


  2. Pat Walker says:

    Hi Madalene

    I would like to make this as a large tart. What size tin should I use and how long should I cook it?

    Many thanks
    (Roger Hipwell’s other half!!!)

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