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Spiced ClemenGold Tarte Tatin with Rich Butter Puff Pastry

January 23, 2012

Tarte Tatin……the word conjures up cold nights and comforting food eaten around the fireside with a delicious glass of sweetish wine to accompany it. Tarte Tatin also conjures up visions of firm crisp apples and caramel and delicious puff pastry. So easy and simple to prepare and yet so delicious and comforting. ClemenGold also conjures up wintry thoughts as it is a winter citrus and only available for that season….but I turned both into a wonderful summery delight this past week.

The new year has firmly entrenched itself and 3 weeks have just flown past in a blur. Here in the Western Cape where I live we have been overwhelmed by a heatwave of massive proportions. I have not been able to bear spending any time in my kitchen during the days. Nights are oppressive and everyone is battling to sleep. I think airconditioning companies have been benefiting from it all. In the bowels of my freezer I came across a bag of ClemenGolds this past week that I had popped in there towards the end of the 2011 season. As I was contemplating them the idea of using some for a tarte tatin  came to mind. Using my favourite spices of course for my ClemenGold goodness. It ticked all the right boxes for me….quick and easy to prepare and delicious with a big scoop of icy cold vanilla ice cream! I was sold on the idea and this is what I came up with…

A slice of spicy niceness - Spiced ClemenGold Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream


Serves 4-6

Easy to prepare


1 roll good quality Butter Puff Pastry – thawed but still cold

2 ClemenGolds (or other clementine/mandarin if you cannot get the ClemenGolds)

125 g butter

100 g Light Brown Sugar

½ Lemon – juice only

5ml NoMU Sweet Rub

1 Vanilla Pod – split and seeds removed with the tip of a sharp knife

2 star anise

1 Egg – lightly beaten for brushing the pastry


Wash and slice the ClemenGolds thinly (leaving the delicious peel on) and set aside. I am so in love with my new Lassar ceramic knife that is perfect for this job 🙂

Unroll the puff pastry and, using your skillet as a measure, cut out a circle  about an inch wider all round than the size of the skillet that you are using. Set aside in the fridge until needed

Place the skillet (it needs to have an oven proof handle) onto the hob over a low to moderate heat

Place the butter, sugar, sweet rub and lemon juice into the skillet and melt all together without stirring

Add the vanilla seeds and pod and star anise

Allow the mixture to caramelize and turn a medium golden colour giving it a bit of a shake every now and again.  Don’t allow it to go any darker than that as it can burn very easily

Remove the pan from the heat and place the ClemenGold slices in the caramel in circles, overlapping the slices slightly and placing the last one in the centre of the pan so the whole base is covered

Set aside to cool for 10 – 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 200C while the caramel is cooling

Remove puff pastry from the fridge and place it lightly over the top of the caramel in the skillet. Fold and tuck the extra bits down the sides carefully as the caramel might still be hot enough to burn your fingers

Brush lightly with the egg wash and bake on the middle shelf in the oven until the pastry is puffed up  and a deliciously medium golden brown colour

Remove from the oven then place a large flat serving plate over the top of the skillet

Using oven gloves or a couple of folded dish towels hold the plate and pan tightly together and in a quick motion flip them over and place plate down  on to the counter

Remove the pan – if any slices have remained behind gently lift with a spatula and place back into position

Allow to cool slightly then remove the star anise and vanilla pod and cut into wedges

Serve with whipped cream, crème frâiche or ice-cream (personally I prefer the iciness of ice cream with the still slightly hot tarte tatin!)

browniegirl tip: Wash the stickiness off the vanilla pod then let it dry thoroughly on your windowsill in the sunlight. Once dry pop it into a jar of sugar and cover tightly. In a week or two you will have delicious vanilla sugar for all your baking needs 🙂

To interact with Lassar ceramic knives visit their facebook page or take a peek at the Essentials page in the latest Crush online magazine edition to see how to slice and dice an onion…the Lassar way!


browniegirl xx

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 2:04 PM

    Colleen, this looks so amazingly delicious! I have so been wanting to make an orange tart – or something like – and your luscious version shows me what I am missing. Beautiful…and I’ll bet it really tasted fabulous! Gad what a thing to whip up in the heat!

    • January 24, 2012 7:59 PM

      Thank you so much Jamie. I love citrus in anything….ask my family 🙂 This was absolutely delicious. And with ice cream it beat the heat hands down! x

  2. January 23, 2012 3:34 PM

    What a delightful and decadent tarte tatin – fantastic recipe!
    Hope the heat calms soon.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    • January 24, 2012 8:00 PM

      Thank you so much Mandy, beautifully cool….almost chilly dare I say it…..evening so am loving it 🙂 xx

  3. January 23, 2012 8:32 PM

    This looks wonderful, rich and marmaladey, all good things for me! Where do you get your puff pastry from, Colleen? I don’t often get it, but would be good to know where to go for a good quality one.

    • January 24, 2012 8:03 PM

      HA Kit you sound like me 🙂 Love it!! It was fabulous. I buy my butter puff pasty (and the regular one) from the local Woolies just because we are quite limited when it comes to buying stuff like that where I live. Its only the regular ones that you get in the fridges of all the grocery stores or go one better for special stuff like this and buy the more expensive one. I make my own short pastry so never bother buying that one….I have had no problems with this one. xx

  4. January 24, 2012 9:33 AM

    I keep my vanilla in the fructose jar, together with some special cinnamon and it means all my cakes and savoury dishes have this lovely note to them 🙂 Yummy tart Colly xxx

    • January 24, 2012 8:05 PM

      Thank you Tandy. I don’t ever throw those pods away LOL!! I just keep recycling…..what special cinnamon? 😉 xx

  5. Saint permalink
    January 26, 2012 11:51 AM

    looks delicious – what do Clemengolds taste like Coll?

    • February 5, 2012 12:55 PM

      Thanks Saint Col 🙂 ClemenGolds are sweeter than regular naartjies, have a more intensely perfumed citrussy flavour, are incredibly juicy, seedless, easy to peel little orbs of orange sunshine! We love them! My very best citrus ever!! Cant wait for the new season this winter xxx

  6. November 27, 2013 2:31 PM

    I am definetely going to try the recipe this weekend. Vanilla pod’s are quite expensive here by us in Randburg, where do you get yours from?

    • Colleen permalink*
      December 30, 2013 3:24 PM

      Thank you for the visit and comment Hans, I hope that your tarte tatin tasted great! You can get vanilla pods from some of the food markets. I like the Vanilla Man products Contact them to ask who stocks in Joburg area. I never throw out the pods, always use them for something else like flavouring sugar or boiling in jam, puddings etc. They are also great in chicken dishes 😉

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