summer cinnamon & strawberry tarte tatin

if i had to pick one recipe to represent the summer strawberry season it would be this one. it is a combination of jammy strawberries, fragrant cinnamon and sweet maple syrup. oh and butter, always butter. it is a simple recipe, fool proof really, you hardly even need to measure anything you could really just go with your gut instincts on this baby. of course i will share all the measurements below but if there is one kind of recipe you can be more free hand with it would be that of the tarte tatin's. 

tarte tatin's are a french upside-down pastry where the fruit is caramelized in butter and sweetener (sugar) before the tart is baked. once you have a buttery bubbling sweet caramel you add in your fruit to simmer (time will depend on what fruit you use) with the caramel before topping it with a layer of puff pastry and baking it in the oven until the pastry is a rich beautiful golden brown. 

tarte tatin's come about with just a few simple ingredients; butter, sugar, {vanilla and spices if you like}, fruit of choice and puff pastry. it is one of those desserts that your friends and family will think took hours to make because it is kinda show stopping when you turn it out onto a plate after baking it but truthfully they can take as little as 10-15 minutes of prep time and 25 minutes of baking time.

i also have a pear tarte tatin recipe hiding in my archives here. it is a lovely dessert for the upcoming cooler fall days when the pears are in season. but like i said the fruit of choice can really be almost anything; stone fruits like peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums work beautifully in tarte tatin's. fall fruits like pears and apples are really delicious as well. i can imagine when figs are at their prime they would be quite nice too.

i top my tarte tatin's with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream. alternatively you could opt for yogurt or whipped cream, but something about warm fruit, crispy pastry and ice cream that is just so darn divine. one bite and you will be taken to the middle of france, sitting on an outside veranda, sipping espresso in the morning dappled light, while the smell of creamy ice cream melts with the intensity of warm strawberries. 

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summer cinnamon & strawberry tarte tatin


1 square of puff pastry (either flat or rolled)

5 cups of whole strawberries

2 tbsp of butter

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/8 tsp cinnamon


preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

defrost your prepared puff pastry (or if you have a recipe of your own to make go for that, I have yet to embark on that journey but it is on my list of things to conquer). you can buy the already flat rolled puff pastry or the blocks. if it is a block roll the pastry out to the size of your cast iron or oven safe dish. if it is already rolled most will fit a 9x9 or slightly bigger dish and you can just fold over the square edges before tucking in the rest.

in a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. 

in a cast iron skillet or oven safe ceramic dish melt 3 tbsp of butter on medium heat. add in the whisked maple syrup, lightly stir and then let the butter and maple syrup start to bubble and caramelize (don't stir it) about 5-8 minutes. 

once the caramel is bubbling turn the heat down to a low medium and add in the whole strawberries (de-stemmed) in one circular layer. let this cook for another 5 minutes. 

next place the layer of puff pastry over the strawberries, folding the square ends over and tucking in the edges with a spoon. place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. 

once cooked cool for 5 minutes before placing a plate over the cast iron dish and flipping the tart over. don't let the tart cool for too long or it will stick to the bottom of the cast iron but do let it cool for at least 5 minutes or else it won't set properly.

if you do happen to leave it too long and when you flip nothing comes out; place the dish back into a warm over for a few minutes and then immediately flip it once it comes out. you are just warming it enough to loosen from the bottom. 

let the tart cool and set at room temperature for about 2 hours before serving.

serve with a dollop of whipped cream, yogurt or a scoop of ice cream!