Tarte Tatin w/ sour cream shortcrust pastry

People often avoid various foods for any number of reasons. For example, my kid sister sat at the dinner table tonight, very carefully corralling the rather chunkily cut mushrooms to the side of her dish in anticipation of relocating them to another dish where they might be more happily welcomed.

Personally, I used to loathe the smell of celery so much that I would leave the room if I suspected it had been in the vicinity (thankfully, celery and I have now reconciled our differences and manage to coexist fairly well these days).

However, people with coeliac disease have no choice but to avoid consuming any products with gluten in them at all, which means that they have a very difficult time with cooking and eating as every label must be scrutinized. And unfortunately, majority of the gluten-free desserts that I’ve seen tend to be limited to meringues, flourless orange and almond cakes or flourless chocolate cakes.

Since coeliac disease is incurable, the idea of being limited to three desserts for a lifetime does make the sweet tooth weep. Just a little.

When I was contacted by the reps for Vitarium, who asked me whether I would be interested in trialling their product and perhaps coming up with a recipe, I jumped at the chance. Having watched a friend who suffers from coeliac disease struggle with her shopping and eating, I thought that I might as well try the product and see whether it would be one I could recommend to her.

I wasn’t quite daring enough to use a gluten-free flour to make something that requires gluten for texture, but I thought it would work quite well on a buttery, short pastry…somewhere where the development of gluten is usually kept to a minimum.

I decided to go with a tarte tatin as other than the pastry, it is relatively easy to ensure that the other ingredients and components of this dish are gluten free and coeliac friendly. Gluten free flour isn’t a necessity, but after trying it out, I can honestly say that it performed perfectly and made the most beautiful, tender, melt-in-the-mouth pastry you can ask for!

Tarte tatin with sour cream shortcrust pastry

Pastry ingredients
250g plain / all-purpose flour
200g unsalted butter, diced & cold
150g full fat sour cream

Tarte Tatin ingredients
6-10 apples (depending on the size of your pan, and golden delicious apples work well here)
150g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in half
1 sheet sour cream short crust pastry, rolled 3-4mm thick
22 – 25cm oven-proof frying pan


1. Place the flour into a food processor with the butter and pulse till the mixture begins to form lumps.

2. Add the sour cream and pulse till the mixture comes together (this is a very buttery, extremely difficult to handle pastry. Try to avoid handling it with bare hands as much as possible).

3. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the pastry out of the food processor and onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Lay another sheet of baking paper on top of it, then slowly and carefully roll out to approx 3-4mm thick. Place in the fridge to chill and rest till needed.


1. Peel the apples, then cut into quarters and remove the core. If you feel it’s necessary, you can toss them with lemon juice at this stage to stop them browning…but bear in mind that this is a dish where the apples are cooked in brown caramel. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Scrape out the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to a heavy, oven-proof frying pan along with the butter and sugar, and cook till it becomes a lovely amber caramel.

3. Once the caramel is bubbling and light brown, remove immediately from heat and carefully arrange the apples over the top, core sides down. You want to make sure that the first layer is rather neat and tidy, as this will be the face that is on display. The second layer can be as haphazard as you wish!

4. Grab a plate which is slightly larger than your frying pan and use it as a guide to cut a rough circle from the chilled pastry, then place on top of the apples and tuck the edges around inside so they surround the apples. Cut a few steam vents into the pastry, then place into the oven and bake till the pastry is completely cooked and you can see the caramel bubbling up the sides.

Rest the baked tarte tatin in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, before CAREFULLY inverting onto a plate (taking care not to drop any of the boiling hot caramel on yourself!). Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche…or sour cream…or lightly whipped double cream…or natural yoghurt…or vanilla ice cream. Your choice :)

Vitarium are running a gluten-free bakeoff until August 8th, so check this link if you’d like to enter :) Vitarium are also offering to let 5 Kitchen Wench readers try their products, so if you live in Australia and would like to give their products a try for free then please leave a comment. 5 readers will be drawn by Sunday 18th July so you have plenty of time!


  1. Oh my gosh this just looks divine. I love tarts and cakes where you have to invert it (like cinnamon rolls with caramel, and upside down pineapple cake!!) I love anything to do with apples and I’m guessing this is a wonderful, warm, winter dessert πŸ˜€


  2. looks absolutely delicious!

  3. This looks fantastic!! What a lovely winter dessert!

  4. I would love to try some of their products. I will then have to conjour something up that is both DAIRY AND GLUTEN-free. But it’s always good practise as I I have coeliac friends and can’t have dairy myself, so cooking is always a challenge for groups!

  5. I’m usually a pro-gluten baker (sourdough and pizza crusts!), and gluten-free products completely baffle me. I’d love the chance to experience the other side of the fence!

  6. Great dessert! I have a pack of gluten free flour that needs to be used up, but i couldnt think of what to use it for, without it affecting the texture, so this is perfect timing!

  7. Wow this is quite a dessert. Aghh my sweet tooth.

  8. Hi, I am gluten and lactose intolerant. The only vitarium product I can get in Canberra is the Christmas Cake mix at Coles. No one else stocks it for some reason. I would love to try their products!
    Gluten free flour lack the elasticity of gluten, but you can add in some vegetable gums to mimic the ‘stickiness’ It also thickens quickly and can become stodgy if not watched.
    Don’t try gluten free products just for fun, because the majority really are a let down when you have alternatives, perhaps Vitarium is the one that tastes great!

  9. This looks so scrumptious! I want me some of that!

  10. michelle woo says:

    hey ellie,

    whatever happened to your kitchenwench group on facebook?

  11. It looks terrific, Ellie!

    I’m thrilled that you tried out a shortcrust pastry recipe with this flour. I’ve been baking with Vitarium too (a post should pop up within the next week πŸ˜› ) and though our cookies and cake were rather good, my shortcrust totally tanked. I had some problems with my recipe and I’ll probably give it another shot with a different pastry recipe (maybe yours!) soon.

  12. This looks amazing!! What a beautiful dessert!

  13. @Wei-Wei – It is a wonderful dessert, and perfect right now because we’re in apple season :)

    @Paula – It was quite tasty πŸ˜‰

    @Maria – Thanks hon :)

    @Fiona – Dairy is easy – just replace the butter with margerine and serve with a good quality vegan yoghurt or ice ‘cream’ :)

    @Sefie – I’m pro-gluten as well, but with a coeliac friend, I like to be able to try out dishes that she can cook for herself :)

    @Dilani – I hope this works out well for you :)

    @Filipino Recipe – Hehehe, yours and mine both πŸ˜‰

    @InTolerantChef – I have to admit that I’ve tried a few of their products now and I’m reasonably impressed, they’re actually not too bad and I can see them as a decent replacement for coeliacs who miss regular baked goods :)

    @Amy @ cookbookmaniac – You should try the recipe, it’s so incredibly easy :)

    @michelle woo – I had to get rid of it as I had too many areas of facebook to maintain. There’s a page that you can access with the link under my photo at the top of the screen to interact with me there :)

    @Cindy – Look forward to seeing your post :)

    @Deborah Dowd – Thanks hon :)

  14. My bf is gluten intolerant and we have made tarte tatin before with a pre-made gf puff pastry which you can buy in coles – not so hot…bit tough. I would be interested to try your version.

    Oh, and there are HEAPS of desserts to make. He is a dessert fiend and we do very well. Brownies and self saucing pudding also work great gluten free.

  15. Love these pictures!!

    You could almost smell the aromas flowing off this page πŸ˜‰

    Thank you,

  16. @stephofsydney – I have no idea how you’d make a gf puff pastry since it’s one of those dishes that needs the stretchiness of gluten to develop properly!

    @Bridget – Thanks for stopping by, glad you liked the pics :)

  17. Sarah Studer says:

    Awesome recipe, tried it today and it worked a treat, yum! I did use a little less butter in the shortcrust pastry to make it not too oily/buttery. Your advice to roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper though was gold: finally a way to handle GF doughs without it all falling apart on me. Left it a little bit too long in the fridge in the end so when i took it out it was a bit brittle, but it all worked out very well. Many thanks again!

  18. these are incredibly lush! πŸ˜†

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